Controversial twins asked to pay back Indspire for bursaries

A national charity is seeking to recoup thousands from two Toronto twins

High school year book photo of Gill sisters, Nadya and Amira Gill

A national Indigenous charity that provided funding to two Toronto twins claiming to be Inuit for their university education says it wants its money back.

Amira and Nadya Gill received funding from Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program to support their education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

The amount of money and how many years worth of funding the Gills received from Indspire remains unclear. Indspire has not returned multiple emails and requests for comment.

According to annual reports, Amira won two bursaries from Indspire of undisclosed amounts in 2020 and 2021.

In the spring of 2021, the sisters were both featured by Indspire as donors and award recipients. This is the first place they appear to publicly list themselves as members of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI).

“We received help from Indspire when we needed it most,” Nadya is quoted saying in the article. “Now is the time to give back.”

The sisters were eligible to receive Indspire funding by using their NTI enrolment as proof of Indigenous identity, according to a press release from Indspire in March.

The twins were removed from NTI’s enrolment list in April after news reports of their background and identity were questioned publicly.

As APTN previously reported the twins attended an expensive Toronto prep school that lists its tuition as $27,250 for the 2020-21 school year.

In 2021 the twins said they wanted to give back.

They started the Kanata Trade Co. and sold COVID-19 masks with Indigenous art, journals and art cards.

Although claiming Inuit heritage, the name of their company, Kanata, is a Haudenosaunee word for village.

In media interviews they say they both incorporated the business.

Amira is listed as a director in a federal corporate search.

They used Indspire in their marketing, claiming they were raising money for Indigenous students. APTN was able to find evidence of a $5,000 donation in Indspire’s donor reports.

Read More: 

     New store with connections to Kanata Trade Co. surfaces

     Toronto twins’ claim of being Inuit nets thousands in scholarship money from various organizations

     Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. removes Gill twins from Inuit Enrolment List

     Family of Kitty Noah hope RCMP investigate Toronto twins’ claims of being Inuit

     Nunavut RCMP says it’s looking into case of Toronto twins who claim to be Inuit

NTI, the organization responsible for managing benefits given to the Inuit under the Nunavut Agreement, called on the RCMP in April to investigate how the Gills got on the enrolment list that entitled them to benefits.

An RCMP investigation into the case is ongoing.

“Indspire’s programs require proof of Indigenous identity, and we take misrepresentation of this proof very seriously,” Indspire said in a statement July 6 that was posted on its website.

The statement said that as a result of NTI removing the twins from the member list, “Indspire has requested the return of all funds that both Nadya and Amira Gill received through Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program.”

Indspire said it continues to work with NTI and law enforcement “as required” but does not provide further details into what its role in a police investigation is.

Nadya Gill received a master of law degree in 2022 while Amira Gill received a master of applied science in 2021.

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