Kúkpi7
James Tomma

Chief

Portfolio

  • Territorial Resource Stewardship: G2G

  • Operations & Maintenance

  • Administration & Human Resources

  • Elders

  • Fisheries and Watershed

  • Economic Development

  • Governance 
  • TRS-External

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Kukpi7 James has been the leader of Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw since 2022.  He grew up on the Scotch Creek reserve where generations of the Tomma family have lived. Tomma’s father Leslie Stanley (like many of his relatives) were chiefs of the Little Shuswap Indian Band (now Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw).   His father Leslie was injured in a logging accident in Washington State in 1963.

He is a visionary leader whose life work revolves around empowering his community and nurturing its future leaders.

Kukpi7 James is the seventh of 14 children. He (like both his parents) is a survivor of the Residential School system.  His formal education went to grade nine.  In 1997, he achieved academic grade 10-12 in three semesters.   

He attended Malaspina University on Vancouver Island where he specialized in Fisheries and Agriculture, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors.  He was involved in the Skwlāx Fisheries program for 20 years.   Officially, Kukpi7 James spent 16 years working for the band in the O and M department.  But he remembers his brothers and himself haying and logging for the band as young as age nine.

As Kukpi7, he passionately advocates for the band’s youth, recognizing them as the future leaders who will shape the community’s destiny.   His primary goal involves creating opportunities that encourage the return of young adults to work within their community, fostering a sense of ownership and empowerment.

His ultimate vision is to create a legacy where the younger generation, when they reach his age, can enjoy stability and security, free from the pressures of work. In his words, “Every journey starts with a single step, one I hope every member will join me and see where it leads us. I want them to control their own destiny.” 

Through his leadership, Tomma embodies a profound commitment to leaving a lasting impact on his community, laying the groundwork for a future where youth are empowered, resilient and equipped to lead with confidence and purpose.

Kukpi7 Tomma has been happily married to his best friend Jay (a 60’s Scoop child) for over 30 years.