Regina company lands major defence manufacturer's first Indigenous parts contract
REGINA (February 20, 2019) – Regina-based Pro Metal Industries has become the first 100 per cent Indigenous-owned supplier to General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) — one of the country’s largest defence contractors.
Acquired by Pasqua First Nation in 2015, Pro Metal will be producing roughly $1 million in fabricated and machined components that will be integrated into GDLS-C light armoured vehicle projects.
“Indigenous Peoples have a long history of working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Canadian Armed Forces, dating all the way back to the First World War,” explains Pasqua First Nation Chief Todd Peigan. “It is encouraging to see Indigenous participation in the defence sector expanding beyond uniformed service. This work represents an important step in that evolving relationship, and will have a real impact on the local economy.”
Roughly half of Pro Metal’s workforce is comprised of Indigenous employees. Pasqua First Nation is now using the business as a model to pursue other opportunities in the defence and protective technologies industry, and is planning to formally announce another large acquisition later this spring.
“Advanced manufacturing represents a generational opportunity for First Nations in Canada,” says Peigan. “There is a burgeoning demand for innovative products that use the latest in materials and processes — and that demand is across virtually every major sector, from military and mining to aerospace and agriculture. The spin-off that can create in terms of jobs, investment, and overall prosperity is massive.”