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Iqaluit, Nunavut) Today, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) welcomes the guilty plea by Karima Manji in the Nunavut Court of Justice for fraud committed against Nunavut Inuit. Manji falsely claimed that she adopted her twin daughters, Nadya and Amira Gill, from an Inuk mother and applied to have them enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement. The twins subsequently received financial and other benefits, reserved for Inuit and Indigenous participants, based on their fraudulently obtained enrolment as Nunavut Inuit.
While NTI welcomes the guilty plea of Ms. Manji, Nadya and Amira Gill, the individuals who benefitted from this fraud, are not part of the guilty plea. Among other things, Nadya Gill and Amira Gill received $158,254.05 in funding from Kakivak Association, the organization responsible for administering scholarships to eligible Nunavut Inuit in the Qikiqtani.
“Nadya Gill and Amira Gill received advanced education and benefited from the fraudulent scheme initiated by their mother. Relying on the fraudulently obtained status, not only did they receive funding specifically set aside to help Nunavut Inuit advance their education, but the Gill sisters also took up space in universities and programs that are designed for Indigenous participants. Colonization consisted largely of the theft of our lands and valuable resources, and this kind of identity theft represents a modern-day iteration of those same colonial practices,” said NTI President Aluki Kotierk.
The Iqaluit Community Enrolment Committee (CEC), one of 25 designated committees in Nunavut authorized with deciding who can be enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement, held a hearing on April 6, 2023, and removed Nadya and Amira Gill from the Inuit Enrolment List. This was the first known fraud enrolment case at NTI. To prevent this kind of fraud from occurring again, NTI with the CECs have since adopted additional
requirements for applicants to provide written documentation to verify their claims in certain situations.
The rarity of false identity claims can be attributed to the close-knit nature of Inuit communities. Inuit are not only known by name but by shared experiences, family bonds, and community ties. This deep familiarity within the community serves as a safeguard against attempts to falsely claim Inuit identity. The connection to Nunavut and the land is further strengthened by the concept of “associated community” in Article 35 of the Nunavut Agreement, which requires an applicant to apply for enrolment through the traditional community of their parents and grandparents.
“A family’s privacy, peace, and dignity has been affected because of the actions of these three women,” said President Kotierk. “The two daughters benefitted from their mother’s fraud scheme, and yet their role in the scheme will go unanswered. This is not acceptable.”
Director of Communication
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.