Havas provides an introduction to Quebec’s 11 First Nations

As part of its efforts to help the non-Aboriginal population better understand the lived experiences of First Nations in Quebec, the provincial government has released a new ad developed by Havas.

The spot was directed by acclaimed Indigenous filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau, and serves as both an introduction to each of the 11 First Nations in the province, and an invitation to learn more about them.

“The campaign’s strategic development was rooted in the concept of being open to the other,” said Stéphane Mailhiot, president of Havas Montréal.  “We were fortunate to be able to count on the recommendations of a committee of Aboriginal experts and a consultation with Inuit and First Nations representatives. In the end, the strategy was informed by their voices.”

The ad was developed with key First Nation stakeholders, and is a direct response to a recommendation from the government’s Anti-Racism Action Group for a national awareness campaign against racism, including “a component on the realities experienced by Aboriginal people.”

“I can’t stress enough how important [Boileau’s] generosity and sensitivity were,” said Carle Coppens, chief creative officer at Havas. “While the shoot took us to the four corners of Quebec, at each meeting and in each community, Sonia put the people involved at ease and allowed us to present them as they wanted to be presented.”

Other agencies and partners working on the spot include 4zéro1 for production, Post-Modern and Post430 for post-production, Circonflex for sound design and mixing, and Cossette for media.

“When the Anti-Racism Action Group published its report two years ago, our government understood that it was imperative to redouble its efforts to eliminate all discrimination based on origin,” said Christopher Skeete, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, in a release launching the campaign last month.

“We believe this starts first and foremost with education and mutual recognition. The first part of this awareness campaign is directly inspired by this vision.”

David Brown