Tuma Young – Leading the Way in Aboriginal Learning

Tuma T.W. Young believes that Cape Breton University is a leader in Aboriginal education because of its unique ability to create new courses, new programs and new directions that incorporate L’nu worldviews. The assistant professor of Indigenous Studies says, “By investing and fostering critical Indigenous perspectives in all of its offerings, CBU can continue to be the best choice for Aboriginal students.”

A Mi’kmaq, who grew up in a traditional manner on the Malagawatch Frist Nation, Tuma 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 in Laws in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona; and is presently enrolled in the SJD program at the University of Arizona, proposed thesis – L’nuwey Tplutaqan: Using Traditional L’nu Legal Thought in Creating Contemporary Indigenous Governance Institutions.

Tuma was called to the bar in June 2001, becoming the first Mi’kmaq speaking lawyer in Nova Scotia. Currently, he runs a Pro Bono law clinic for students, staff, and community members at CBU. On the importance of Treaty Day, Tuma says, “Treaties belong to both the L’nu and all of the citizens of Nova Scotia and Canada. It is not just a day for the L’nuk. Everyone in NS is a beneficiary of the treaties.”

A true believer in education, Tuma strongly encourages the pursuit of higher studies, often borrowing from the Home Depot slogan and telling his students with a laugh, “You can do it. We can help!”