Tuma T. W. Young QC is L’nu (Mi’kmaq) and grew up in a traditional manner on the Malagawatch First Nation. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Mi’kmaq Studies from the University College of Cape Breton; a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia; a Master of Laws in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona. Tuma was called to the Bar in June 2001, becoming the first Mi’kmaq speaking lawyer in Nova Scotia.
Tuma was nominated for Second Vice-President for the 2019-2020 Council year by the Society’s Governance and Nominating Committee and was acclaimed to the position in February 2019. He was previously a Member At-Large of Council and was elected to the position in both 2015 and 2017. Tuma currently sits on the Executive, Finance, Nominating and Complaints Investigations Committees, as well as the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Working Group. Until his ascension to Second Vice-President, he was a member of the Society’s Code of Professional Conduct Committee and the Racial Equity Committee.
Currently, he works as an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Studies/Political Science at Cape Breton University. Tuma’s primary research area is the analysis of L’nu worldview to see how traditional concepts of governance can be used in contemporary institution development. He also researches Two-Spiritedness (gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgendered) and community-based health and social research. In August 2017, Tuma was qualified as an expert witness on L’nuk Laws and Decolonizing Perspectives as part of his testimony at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
At CBU, Tuma has a pro bono law clinic for students, staff and community members where he provides free initial advice and, if necessary, referrals to outside lawyers. He also has a private Wills & Estates practice for a number of First Nations communities.
Tuma is a past Co-Chair of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s TRC Calls to Action Advisory Committee, which is charged with developing a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action #27 and #28.
Tuma spends the rest of his free time with his partner Nicolaas and working on his photography portfolio.