Press Releases

Tuma Young Elected to Nova Scotia Barristers Society

Cape Breton University would like to congratulate Tuma Young, Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies, on his recent election to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. 

Tuma Young is a Mi’kmaq, who grew up in a traditional manner on the Malagawatch Frist 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 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.  In this clinic he provides free initial advice and, if necessary, referrals to outside lawyers.

Tuma is currently the co-principal on a research project examining the health impacts of Mi’kmaq people living on social assistance and working with developing a new model of social assistance that will be used in First Nations communities in Nova Scotia. His other primary area of research is gathering information to document the lives of Two-Spirited (gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgendered) Indigenous Peoples in Atlantic Canada.
In addition to his research, Tuma is a Senator at Cape Breton University (where he is also a past member of the Board of Governors); a Research Associate with Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Institute at Dalhousie University; and a member of the President’s Advisory Committee at Mount Saint Vincent University.

In his spare time, Tuma volunteers as a board member of both Nature Canada and the Nova Scotia Bird Society and sits on the advisory board of the Canadian Water Network. Tuma spends the rest of his free time with his partner Nicolaas and working on his photography portfolio.

For more information about the election, visit the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society website at