Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot

Left to right: Ryan Erwin, Erin Barnes and Darrin Mah

This year’s Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot was hosted by McGill University from March 2 to 4 and welcomed students from 17 law schools across Canada. The Moot problem discussed concerned the status, protection and control of Indigenous archeological heritage artefacts - and of the sites at which they are found. 
With the help of our generous sponsor and coaches from Mandell Pinder LLP and co-coach Lee Schmidt, Associate Director, Indigenous Legal Studies Program, the Allard School of Law team (Erin Barnes, Darrin Mah and Ryan Erwin) worked diligently and collaboratively from December to late February to help prepare for the national moot. 
“Our team did an excellent job,” said Lee. “The Team was well prepared. They met every week with the coaches, and several times a week on their own. We are very proud of how they conducted themselves, and they should be proud of their achievements.”
The Kawaskimhon Moot was first held at the University of Toronto in 1994, and welcomes students from nearly every law faculty from across Canada each year. Kawaskimhon – a word of Cree origin roughly translated to “speaking with knowledge” – is a consensus-based, non-adversarial moot that incorporates Indigenous legal traditions alongside federal, provincial and international law. There are no winners or losers. Instead, mooters participate in roundtable negotiations on a particular topic in Indigenous law, representing their assigned party.