A Montreal real estate developer has pulled a condo marketing campaign that uses the image of 16th-century explorer Jacques Cartier greeting First Nations people after it was criticized on social media for being insensitive.
The developer, Altius, said on a web page promoting the Osha condo complex that it plans to “modify” the campaign as a result of the outcry.
Members of the Mohawk community south of Montreal – Kahnawake – expressed outrage at the use of the image on a billboard after someone posted a photo of the advertisement on Thursday. one Kahnawake leader called it “cultural appropriation.”
The billboard shows Jacques Cartier greeting a First Nations chief and beneath that, a picture of the interior of one of the developer’s condo units. On the left, the sign says “Hochelaga, Osha Aga, Outstanding Habitat.”
Osha is located in the trendy Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood. The project has been criticized by some residents and activists who say it represents another step in the gentrification of the borough.
A note on the Osha website says the company is sensitive to the concerns that have been expressed over the campaign and “we will modify it so as to remove certain historical references.”