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‘Very humbling’

Clint Davis with his wife, Hillary Thatcher, in Torngat Mountains National Park. Davis — originally from Happy Valley-Goose Bay — was one of 14 Indigenous Canadians to receive a 2016 Indspire Award, which celebrates Indigenous achievement.
Clint Davis with his wife, Hillary Thatcher, in Torngat Mountains National Park. Davis — originally from Happy Valley-Goose Bay — was one of 14 Indigenous Canadians to receive a 2016 Indspire Award, which celebrates Indigenous achievement.

A Happy Valley-Goose Bay man is among 14 outstanding Indigenous Canadians to receive a prestigious award.

Clint Davis — who now lives and works in Toronto — was presented with a 2016 Indspire Award, which celebrates Indigenous achievement.

Davis is in good company. Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (Ulkatcho First Nation – British Columbia) and well-known author Joseph Boyden (Métis – Ontario) are among the award recipients.

Indspire is the largest non-governmental funder of Indigenous education.

“It is certainly one of the biggest honours I’ve ever received,” said Davis.

“It’s a recognition by your peers from the Indigenous community and your peers across the country. They are recognizing you for your contribution to the larger community so having that happen is a very humbling experience.”

Davis, 45, is vice-president of Aboriginal banking with TD Bank in Toronto.

His former jobs include president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).

Davis is well educated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Acadia University, a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.

The first person in his extended family to get a university degree, he credits a professor at Acadia for encouraging him to study law.

“I took a business law course and the professor, who was a lawyer, told me I was good at it,” Davis recalled.

“He said I should think about law school. I thought he was out of his mind… I hadn’t even spoken to a lawyer in my life up to that point.”

Davis appreciated the professor’s belief in his abilities. He started looking into what it would take to get accepted into law school.

“I was very excited to learn about the native pre-law program which was a program for Indigenous people to try and facilitate their enrolment in law school,” he said. “I participated in that program and ended up going to law school.”

After earning his law degree, Davis practiced in Newfoundland for two years with Benson Myles.

“They were really wonderful lawyers, great mentors and supporters,” he said.

Davis is a Canada-U.S. Fulbright scholar, an international scholarship program bearing the name of Senator J. William Fulbright, which President Harry Truman enacted into legislation in 1946.

Operating in over 150 countries, the program has had a profound impact, with 29 of its alumni serving as heads of state or government, 53 Nobel Prize winners, and 80 Pulitzer Prize winners.

‘Proud’

In addition to his fulltime work, Davis also serves as the current chair of the board of directors for the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies. 

He said he’s proud of the remarkable job that has been done since the Nunatsiavut Inuit became a self-governing nation 10 years ago under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

“(The government) is creating a remarkable foundation in the North of Labrador,” said David. “It’s creating great opportunity for the people of Labrador and it’s something that all of us, not just Labradorians or Nunatsiavut beneficiaries, but all Newfoundlanders can be proud of.”

So how does a young boy from Labrador move on to become a leader in the financial industry, an outstanding Indigenous Canadian and included among the world’s most prestigious scholars?

Davis goes back to his family roots.

“My mother was very young when she had me so I was raised by my grandmother,” he said.

Davis describes his grandmother as a remarkable woman who instilled in him a sense of pride in who he was and where he was from.

“She’s the one that really influenced me with formulating my own core values of family, honesty, hard work, empathy and love. She’s been absolutely critical in the evolution of myself.”

Davis spent his summers at his grandparents’ remote cabin in Sandwich Bay (near Cartwright).

The cabin had very limited amenities, he said.

“We’d be there for over two months… it was a beautiful spot but it was tough work. We never had any running water or electricity. You had to pump water, saw wood, go out and check the nets, clean the fish – everything.”

While the work was hard, he said, he always looked forward to the visits from his relatives.

“My cousins and aunties and uncles would come through over the course of the summer. It was really great to connect with them. It really gave me a small window to what life was must have been like in the North before we had roads and vehicles and internet and television. That helped me connect to the region and to the land.”

Davis said his grandmother’s guidance was her way of ensuring that, through hard work, he would one day have the ability to care for his own family.

“The fact that I went off to university was quite an occasion and (my grandmother) was very, very proud. But she didn’t necessarily say that university was going to be a part of my life as I was growing up. It was just that I was going to be a young man who’d work hard and contribute to the community in some way, shape or form.”

While he was raised by his grandparents, Davis has a close relationship with his mother, Pauline White, who, like many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, now lives in Fort McMurray, Alb.

“My Mom’s an angel. She personifies someone with remarkable strength and resilience… She’s stood by me and influenced me greatly in my own growth. She’s a motivating factor, every day, or me.”

Davis lives in Toronto with his wife, Hillary Thatcher, and their three children aged five, four, and nine months.

“My wife is Métis…  And despite the fact that (the children) were born and are growing up in the core of Toronto, we want them to know who they are, their ethnicity, and to be proud of that.”

The Indspire Awards gala will be held on February 12, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

The ceremony will air at a later date on Global Television and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

 

danette@nl.rogers.com

Clint Davis — who now lives and works in Toronto — was presented with a 2016 Indspire Award, which celebrates Indigenous achievement.

Davis is in good company. Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (Ulkatcho First Nation – British Columbia) and well-known author Joseph Boyden (Métis – Ontario) are among the award recipients.

Indspire is the largest non-governmental funder of Indigenous education.

“It is certainly one of the biggest honours I’ve ever received,” said Davis.

“It’s a recognition by your peers from the Indigenous community and your peers across the country. They are recognizing you for your contribution to the larger community so having that happen is a very humbling experience.”

Davis, 45, is vice-president of Aboriginal banking with TD Bank in Toronto.

His former jobs include president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).

Davis is well educated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Acadia University, a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University.

The first person in his extended family to get a university degree, he credits a professor at Acadia for encouraging him to study law.

“I took a business law course and the professor, who was a lawyer, told me I was good at it,” Davis recalled.

“He said I should think about law school. I thought he was out of his mind… I hadn’t even spoken to a lawyer in my life up to that point.”

Davis appreciated the professor’s belief in his abilities. He started looking into what it would take to get accepted into law school.

“I was very excited to learn about the native pre-law program which was a program for Indigenous people to try and facilitate their enrolment in law school,” he said. “I participated in that program and ended up going to law school.”

After earning his law degree, Davis practiced in Newfoundland for two years with Benson Myles.

“They were really wonderful lawyers, great mentors and supporters,” he said.

Davis is a Canada-U.S. Fulbright scholar, an international scholarship program bearing the name of Senator J. William Fulbright, which President Harry Truman enacted into legislation in 1946.

Operating in over 150 countries, the program has had a profound impact, with 29 of its alumni serving as heads of state or government, 53 Nobel Prize winners, and 80 Pulitzer Prize winners.

‘Proud’

In addition to his fulltime work, Davis also serves as the current chair of the board of directors for the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies. 

He said he’s proud of the remarkable job that has been done since the Nunatsiavut Inuit became a self-governing nation 10 years ago under the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

“(The government) is creating a remarkable foundation in the North of Labrador,” said David. “It’s creating great opportunity for the people of Labrador and it’s something that all of us, not just Labradorians or Nunatsiavut beneficiaries, but all Newfoundlanders can be proud of.”

So how does a young boy from Labrador move on to become a leader in the financial industry, an outstanding Indigenous Canadian and included among the world’s most prestigious scholars?

Davis goes back to his family roots.

“My mother was very young when she had me so I was raised by my grandmother,” he said.

Davis describes his grandmother as a remarkable woman who instilled in him a sense of pride in who he was and where he was from.

“She’s the one that really influenced me with formulating my own core values of family, honesty, hard work, empathy and love. She’s been absolutely critical in the evolution of myself.”

Davis spent his summers at his grandparents’ remote cabin in Sandwich Bay (near Cartwright).

The cabin had very limited amenities, he said.

“We’d be there for over two months… it was a beautiful spot but it was tough work. We never had any running water or electricity. You had to pump water, saw wood, go out and check the nets, clean the fish – everything.”

While the work was hard, he said, he always looked forward to the visits from his relatives.

“My cousins and aunties and uncles would come through over the course of the summer. It was really great to connect with them. It really gave me a small window to what life was must have been like in the North before we had roads and vehicles and internet and television. That helped me connect to the region and to the land.”

Davis said his grandmother’s guidance was her way of ensuring that, through hard work, he would one day have the ability to care for his own family.

“The fact that I went off to university was quite an occasion and (my grandmother) was very, very proud. But she didn’t necessarily say that university was going to be a part of my life as I was growing up. It was just that I was going to be a young man who’d work hard and contribute to the community in some way, shape or form.”

While he was raised by his grandparents, Davis has a close relationship with his mother, Pauline White, who, like many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, now lives in Fort McMurray, Alb.

“My Mom’s an angel. She personifies someone with remarkable strength and resilience… She’s stood by me and influenced me greatly in my own growth. She’s a motivating factor, every day, or me.”

Davis lives in Toronto with his wife, Hillary Thatcher, and their three children aged five, four, and nine months.

“My wife is Métis…  And despite the fact that (the children) were born and are growing up in the core of Toronto, we want them to know who they are, their ethnicity, and to be proud of that.”

The Indspire Awards gala will be held on February 12, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

The ceremony will air at a later date on Global Television and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

 

danette@nl.rogers.com

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