Indigenous charity Indspire is seeking the return of funds from Toronto twins who falsely claimed to be Inuit and Indigenous citizens in order to receive university education support. The twins, Nadya and Amira Gill, listed themselves as members of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) and used their enrollment for eligibility in Indspire funding. However, investigations revealed that they were not adopted by the woman who claimed to be their birth mother. The charity aims to ensure that Indigenous students who truly meet the government criteria receive the support they need. Indigenous identity fraud remains a persistent issue. Local Journalism Initiative reported
Indspire, a national Indigenous charity, is demanding the return of funds from twin sisters in Toronto who falsely claimed to be Inuit and Indigenous citizens in order to obtain financial support for their university education. Kim Beaudin, the national vice chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), expressed his displeasure with the situation, pointing out that such deception not only prevents deserving Indigenous individuals from accessing educational resources but also depletes the available funding. He further explained that most Indigenous people have a clear understanding of their ancestral background, unless they were affected by the Sixties Scoop, a period when Indigenous children were forcibly separated from their birth families. Beaudin emphasized that the twins’ lack of connection to any Indigenous community is evident, unlike his Pakistani friend’s children who are aware of their Indigenous heritage due to their mother’s affiliation with a specific band. As a result of the controversy surrounding their background, investigations are underway to determine the veracity of the Gill sisters’ claims, including potential fraud related to Inuit status enrollment. In the spring of 2021, the sisters received donations and awards from Indspire after falsely listing themselves as members of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) and leveraging this affiliation to meet the eligibility criteria. However, NTI has since confirmed that the twins are not the children of the woman they claimed as their birth mother. Consequently, the twins have been removed from NTI’s enrollment. Beaudin highlighted the problem of individuals falsely identifying as Indigenous for personal gain, stressing the need for proper research and documentation to validate applicants’ claims. He also expressed concern for non-status Indigenous students who struggle to access funding despite having a genuine link to their families and culture. Indigenous identity fraud remains an unresolved issue that undermines trust and causes harm within Indigenous communities. In a related matter, some Manitobans are urging political parties to take measures to verify the Indigeneity of candidates. Jean Teillet, a lawyer and great-grandniece of Métis leader Louis Riel, referred to these individuals as “wannabees” or “pretendians,” emphasizing the harm caused by their deceitful actions. While there have been no recent updates on the twins, Indspire has made it clear that they expect the return of all funds provided to them. Beaudin stressed the importance of ensuring that Indigenous students have genuine opportunities to pursue higher education and contribute to their communities..