In the world of political correctness it still amazes me how campaigns or art can mean well, but get it so horribly wrong. If you fly into the Toronto Pearson International airport via terminal one, you’re welcomed into the city by three human-like figures, made out of stones placed on top of stones. One has its arms straight out, one has them raised, and one is making them into a sort of “L” shape. They are examples of inuksuit, stacked stone markers that are a traditional part of the Inuit culture. When one represents a human figure, it’s called inunnguaq. The shape of each inuksuk has a specific meaning, and were often used to give information to travelers. These inunnguaq were commissioned for the Toronto airport to welcome travelers to Canada with native art.
To some, the sculptures may resemble a trio of air traffic controllers or maybe hailing a cab. But to those in the know, they’re much more of a warning then a welcome. And an Inunnguaq with its arms raised up means, essentially, “Stay away! This is a place of violent death.” Opps. Not really what you want your airport’s “motto” to be! How did it happen?