ProMetal Industries Ltd. updates its Every Child Matters metal feather to a small lapel pin
- Memory McLeod | September 18, 2023
All those who wear their hearts on their sleeve, have a new way to do just that while simultaneously making a difference in the lives of Indigenous students thanks to ProMetal Industries’ Every-Child-Matters feather lapel pin.
It is to commemorate the children who never returned from government and church-run Indian Residential Schools between 1863 and 1998.
“In response to the discovery of the graves at Kamloops, our employees here wanted to demonstrate our support for the people feeling the impact,” said Treena Amyotte director of business development for PFN Group of Companies, the parent corporation of Pasqua First Nation, which owns ProMetal Industries. “In the beginning we wondered what we could bring that would reach the most, whether that was a monument, or an orange shirt design. We came up with something unique that would showcase our metal fabrication abilities.”
The original conception included in-shop fabricated orange feather grave markers.
“We began by developing, selling and donating to the cause, but we wanted the funds raised to stay local,” said Amyotte.
Together the 2021 and 2022 campaigns raised $225, 000, with proceeds going to fund student bursaries for Indigenous students in the province.
This year, they decided to do something a little different.
While the original feathers meant for display were popular choices, the idea was presented to introduce something wearable. Utilizing the same design as the 2022 display feather by local artist, Jonas Thompson of the Cegakin First Nation, the lapel pin went into production.
“We had a request to make them smaller, and that’s how we came up with an idea for a pin,” said Amyotte. “Making them wearable really enhances their visibility and impact to create dialogue among wearers. We made 3,000 to begin with and were sold out within five days.”
Without much advertising, the demand for the pins has been huge.
“We had pre-orders on a list from our industry partners and supporters who were eager to support our mandate to donate proceeds to programs aimed to help Indigenous students within five provincial post secondary Institutions including the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), First Nations University of Canada and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.” Amyotte explained.
For the company, the project created dialogue about residential schools among the company staff, some of whom were hearing about the schools and their impacts for the first time.
“Amongst our supply chain network we began to receive heartfelt condolences and support,” said Amyotte. “We saw an opportunity to raise awareness and a way to leverage our resources towards some kind of assistance to Indigenous students. We focused our energies toward developing a way to support survivors, because we all knew someone who had attended one of the schools, whether that be yourself, parent or grandparent. It was important to us to honour and acknowledge the kids who didn’t make it home. We will continue to do it as long as we can sustain it.”
Despite an almost instant sell-out of the first batch of pins, Amyotte said a new order of five thousand has been made.
To order a feather lapel pin visit www.prometal.ca/feathers-2023.