Welcome to the web site of the KAWASKIMHON 2006 National Aboriginal Rights Moot, hosted by Osgoode Hall Law School. It is the first time that Osgoode Hall has hosted this important annual event.
The organising committee comprises:
- Professor Ben Richardson (committee chair)
Professors Kent McNeil, Shin Imai and Stepan Wood
Students Lori Mishibinijima, Leah Mack, Tracy Coates and Jon Davey
KAWASKIMHON 2006 is generously sponsored by the Department of Justice Canada and the Law Foundation of Ontario.
KAWASKIMHON 2006 is also supported by the Osgoode Indigenous Students Association (OISA). Its members have volunteered many hours to help prepare the Moot. The OISA’s mission is to promote awareness of Indigenous issues, provide a supportive community-base to Indigenous students, foster a culturally appropriate learning environment, and bring legal issues involving Indigenous peoples to the attention of the Osgoode community.
KAWASKIMHON 2006 will he held at: the premises of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC), 219 Front St East, Toronto, over March 2-4.
What Is Kawaskimhon?
Kawaskimhon means "speaking with knowledge". From a proposal of the Native Law Students Association of the University of Toronto, the aim was to create a forum where Aboriginal law students from across Canada could debate Aboriginal rights. The vision of KAWASKIMHON is to offer Aboriginal students a culturally appropriate learning environment to legal education. It is based on a belief that students would bring a unique perspective, analysis and understanding to the issues debated. Students would "speak with knowledge".
Who is the moot for?
The National Aboriginal Rights Moot creates a public forum for discussion of Aboriginal legal and policy issues. The Moot is primarily about and for Aboriginal students, but also accommodates other students who believe in and endorse Aboriginal rights. The Moot aims to encourage students to research and debate Aboriginal rights in greater depth.
With many Aboriginal students, and located in a city with over 60,000 Aboriginal people. Osgoode Hall is proud to have the opportunity to host KAWASKIMHON 2006. There are many Aboriginal specific organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that are committed to respecting and fostering Aboriginal distinctiveness, cultural awareness, equal access, self-determination, and the empowerment for Aboriginal people.
What is the format?
In accordance with the spirit and way of Kawaskimhon, the Moot is a non-competitive event in the sense that there are no prizes, no winners and no losers. The Moot problem is based on contemporary issues in Aboriginal-Government relations. Law schools from across Canada represent various interested parties, and prepare written arguments and make oral presentations on matters arising out of the Moot problem. The Moot is conducted in a circle format. The objective of the Moot is to reach a consensus on the legal and policy issues raised by the Moot problem.
The format of the Moot is designed so that it respects and incorporates Aboriginal values and concepts of dispute resolution. The participants sit in a large circle and make their presentations. Four facilitators, representing the four directions sit around the circle, assist the participants to reach a consensus on the issues being discussed.
History of the Moot:
The Native Law Students Association of the University of Toronto held the first Aboriginal Rights Moot in 1994. The second Moot was also held at the University of Toronto in 1995 and was attended by five law schools from across Canada. The third Moot was held at the University of British Columbia. In subsequent years, the Moot was hosted by the University of Ottawa, University of Alberta, University of Windsor, the University of Victoria, McGill University and the University of Calgary. Most recently, in 2005, the University of Saskatchewan hosted the Moot. Presently, the Moot attracts participation from about a dozen law schools from across the country, with more planning to join soon.