We recognize and celebrate brave female leaders. The women we are featuring in our Brave Women Leaders blog demonstrate resiliency, bravery, and the ability to radiate their light brightly. They have gifts to share with the world and take tiny steps of bravery each day to share them with the world.
Our first feature highlights Chastity Davis. Chastity is a mixed-heritage woman of First Nations and European descent. She is a proud member of the Tla’amin Nation, located in Powell River just off the beautiful Sunshine Coast of BC. She strives to keep her sacred First Nations culture, traditions, and values incorporated into her modern-day life. She’s dedicated her life to facilitating the building of bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
What does bravery mean to you?
Bravery means many different things to me depending on the context of when Bravery is being called forward in my life to be present and embody. Bravery is about having the courage to be a heart-centred leader. To being committed to make the journey from my head to my heart every single day and sometimes several times a day so that I can lead from love and compassion.
Bravery also shows up in my life as having the courage to enjoy my life and be joyful. As joy is a radical act of resistance! So, to truly find what makes me joyful at the core of who I am and to have the courage to follow and grow and be fully in-joy in my life is an act of Bravery.
Bravery also means to me to be an explorer, holder, and speaker of Truth in every relationship in my life, including the relationship with myself. As that’s where truth exploration, holding, and speaking starts – is with the self. Once I can truly be truthful with myself, then I can be truthful with the rest of the relationships in my life. I am committed to sharing my Truth and the Truth now and every day moving forward – that to me is one of the ultimate acts of bravery. As we live in a world where many myths have been shared as truths – and many benefit from those myths being accepted as truths…so in my journey to be a truth speaker I often stand alone (physically) but I am supported spiritually by my Ancestors.
What is one of the bravest things you have ever done?
I am not sure that this can be defined by one moment in time. As I do believe that it is Brave to work towards being a successful Indigenous woman in a society that has legislated against the inherent human rights of Indigenous women since its inception and has benefited and continues to benefit from the oppression of Indigenous women.
Prior to contact, over 80% of Indigenous communities were Matriarchial, and with the creation and introduction and implementation of the Indian Act, Indigenous women were displaced from their rightful roles as leaders/matriarchs in their communities. To wake up everyday and reclaim, restore, and reconnect with what it means to be an Indigenous Matriarch and to breathe life into that every day is a continuous act of Bravery.
What benefits have come from leaning into bravery?
For me, the benefits of leaning into bravery have been about breaking the multi-generational cycles of colonial trauma and abuse within me. Every day I wake up I commit to my own sovereignty, agency, and freedom. And I take conscious steps and breaths to make that a reality every day of my life.
To follow Chastity, and find out more about her course – Canadian History Through the Lens of Indigenous Women course, please click here.