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

Indigenous charity says it’s considering next steps in scholarship scandal.

Gill twins

Amira and Nadya Gill in an undated photo.

The RCMP in Nunavut says it has received a request from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. to investigate two Toronto twins who applied for Inuit status.

“NTI released a statement asking the RCMP to investigate the actions of two applicants for enrolment under the Nunavut Agreement,” said an email from police on Thursday.

“Please be advised that the Nunavut RCMP are following up on this request.”

Amira and Nadya Gill applied to NTI for Inuit status which gave them access to scholarships and bursaries from a number of organizations.

One of those charities is Indspire, a national organization that helps support Indigenous youth through school.

In a statement posted online, it said that it’s “aware of allegations” against the sisters.

Indspire acknowledged the Gill sisters “obtained funding for their post-secondary education from our organization.”

Amira Gill received an undisclosed amount of scholarship money from Indspire as well as between $4,000-$8,000 from RBC and $4,000 from HydroOne, an Ontario utility company while in school at Queen’s University for engineering.

The twins also started a company, Kanata Trade Co. during the pandemic where they sold Indigenous-themed art masks and journals. They referred to the company as “Indigenous-owned” and said that proceeds from the art would go to Indspire.

There has been one record of a $6,000 donation but Indspire would not confirm if they have received any further donations.

News about the Gill sisters broke in early April when NTI, the organization responsible for ensuring promises made to Inuit under the Nunavut Agreement are carried out, announced that its committee had decided to remove the Gill sisters from their membership.

Read More: 

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

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. removes Gill twins from Inuit Enrolment List

In the online statement, Indspire said that “students must demonstrate membership and/or enrolment in a federally recognized First Nations, Métis, or Inuit nation.

“Along with their applications, both Nadya Gill and Amira Gill provided proof of enrolment in a recognized organization – NTI, as such, they qualified for funding under Indspire’s funding policy.”

The statement also said that Indspire has been speaking to NTI since the allegations first surfaced.

“In accordance with NTI’s process, the sisters have been given 30 days to respond to NTI’s questions regarding their claims to Inuit identity. Indspire will be following this process closely and will act accordingly once the findings are established.”

Brandon Meawasige, the director of communications and marketing for Indspire refused a request for an interview with APTN News.

Indspire did not reply to questions asking for clarification on whether there are any internal reviews to prevent people who are not Indigenous from getting scholarships.

APTN reached out to NTI for clarification on the process as their original press release didn’t reference an appeal period.

A spokesperson for NTI confirmed that Amira and Nadya Gill have until May 11 to appeal the decision to remove them from the Inuit enrolment list.

According to an email from RBC, the bank doesn’t plan to take any action based on NTI removing the twins from the enrolment list.

The company has also said that they have changed their policies since Amira Gill won the scholarship.

“When the RBC Future Launch Scholarship for Indigenous Youth was relaunched in 2021, the eligibility requirements were updated to include formal verification of an applicant’s Indigenous heritage or tie to that community,” said an email statement from RBC.

The HydroOne scholarship was named in recognition of a First Nations judge – the Honourable Justice Leonard Mandamin. The award is granted annually to First Nations, Métis and Inuit post-secondary students.

“Part of the application for the Leonard Mandamin [s]cholarship requires applicants to submit proof of Indigenous ancestry (Status, Treaty, Métis membership or Nunavut certificate card),” said HydroOne in an email statement to APTN.

APTN has reached out to Amira and Nadya Gill multiple times for comment and has not heard back.


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