Iqaluit, Nunavut, June 27, 2024 – This morning in the Nunavut Court of Justice, the Honorable Mia Manocchio sentenced Ms. Karima Manji to a three-year sentence and to pay restitution totalling to $28,254.05 to the Kakivak Association. This sentence was ordered for the crime of defrauding Nunavut Inuit through Indigenous identify theft and is the first criminal conviction of its kind in Canada.

After seven years of fraudulent activity that started in 2016 and that was uncovered in early 2023, the harms caused to Inuit by Ms. Manji’s identity fraud extends beyond just the lost funding and lost opportunities for Inuit students but has damaged the larger efforts towards reconciliation within Canadian society. Today, the Nunavut Court of Justice was able to address some of these harms and both QIA and Kakivak Association is hopeful that this decision can offer the community a bit of resolution to this long-drawn-out exploitation of our community. We would like to thank the Noah family for bringing this injustice to light and ensuring the enrolment process is legitimate in its verification procedures as a result.

The growing frequency of Indigenous identity fraud creates an atmosphere of suspicion from within and from outside Indigenous communities which strains the already damaged sense of our cultural identity and community which results from having already endured multiple other forms of cultural genocide. The limited gains that have been made through reconciliation and the years of work spent negotiating with the Government of Canada to get to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is shaken when non-Indigenous persons steal from the programs intended to protect Inuit rights. Such crimes reflect not only the total disregard for the arduous and unrelenting work put into these negotiations by Inuit leadership but for our system of self-government and Inuit society as a whole.

QIA and Kakivak Association are hopeful that this sentence will send a clear message that deters anyone from engaging in fraudulent activities to Inuit communities in the future.   As always, we will continue to advocate for Inuit rights, including in education and the rights given to Inuit in the Nunavut Agreement.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Karen Flaherty
Director, Strategic Communications
Qikiqtani Inuit Association
(P) 867.975.8398 or toll-free 1.800.667.2742

Mariana Barney
Manager, Marketing, Communications and Outreach
Kakivak Association
Phone: 867-979-8970