Canadian twins ‘pretended to be Inuit to receive more than $10,000 in college scholarships and grants for their facemask business’
- Amira and Nadya Gill, 25, are accused of lying about their heritage for money
- They said they’d been adopted and their birth mother was an Inuk woman
A pair of Canadian twin sisters have been charged with fraud after allegedly pretending to be Inuit to obtain more than $10,000 in scholarships and grants for their online business.
Amira and Nadya Gill, 25, were charged along with their mother, Karima Manji, with fraud of over $5,000 each.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they told police they were the biological daughters of Inuit woman Kitty Noah, and that Manji had adopted them.
The lie won them scholarships and grants for their online business that sold COVID face masks.
Amira and Nadya Gill, 25, were charged along with their mother, Karima Manji, with fraud of over $5,000 each. They claimed thousands in grants and scholarships by claiming Inuk heritage which police now say was a lie
Among the benefits the sisters received were grants for their facemask business. They proudly advertised as being indigenous-owned
The sisters regularly advertised the brand as Inuit-owned, and promoted it in the local media.
The fraud is said to have been between 2016 and 2022.
It remains unclear whether the girls are adopted, or if they are Manji’s biological children.
The alleged fraud was first exposed in March, when the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. announced it was investigating the girls’ claims.
Noah, the Inuk woman who the girls had claimed was their birth mom, died in July this year.
The sisters claimed they were adopted and that their birth mother was Inuk. It remains unclear if they were adopted
Before her death, she publicly denied giving birth to the girls.
Her son, Noah Noah, told CBC in April: ‘She was definitely taken advantage of by this Karima Manji.
‘They are not my mom’s twins. We had a conversation with her about it and she was just as flabbergasted as we were.’
The NTI said the fraud is the first of its kind in the organization’s history.
After graduating from college, the sisters started a business during COVID selling facemasks.
They promoted it locally, appearing on local outlet CTV Ottawa.
All three women are due to appear in court in Ottawa next month.
Noah’s family say they are outraged by the lies.
They believe Manji only knows about their family, who live in Iqaluit, because she once dated a man in the family.
Aluki Kotierk, the president of the NTI, fumed at the alleged fraud.
‘You’ve wanted to take our language away from us. You’ve wanted to take our culture away from us.
‘Now you’re trying to claim our identity? It’s just flabbergasting.’
Neither of the twins, nor their mother, has commented publicly.
Nadya Gill and her sister Amira even promoted the business in the local press