Manji Sentenced for Defrauding Inuit Organizations

Iqaluit (Nunavut) – June 27, 2024 – Today, in the Nunavut Court of Justice, Karima Manji was sentenced for defrauding Nunavut Tunngavik Inc (NTI), Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) and Kakivak Association by falsely claiming Nunavut Inuit status for her two daughters, who then obtained education grants reserved for Inuit students. Ms. Manji received a sentence of 36 months in jail. She was also ordered to make restitution of $28,000.  This is the portion of the full amount obtained fraudulently, a total of $158, 254.05, that has not yet been repaid to the Kakivak Association by Ms. Manji over the last few months.

Ms. Manji pleaded guilty in February 2024 to one count of fraud over $5000. In an Agreed Statement of Facts filed with the court, Ms. Manji admitted that her daughters were unaware that she had obtained their NTI Enrolment Cards fraudulently. Although they received sponsorship that would usually be reserved for Inuit, the facts establish that the daughters had no fraudulent intent. The PPSC withdrew the charges against them in February 2024.

George Dolhai, Director of Public Prosecutions had this to say: “A condition of the Crown’s agreement to the sentence of Ms. Manji was that she pay back the full amount taken from Inuit students. Truth is an essential element of the path to reconciliation. The sentence imposed by the Nunavut Court of Justice protects the truth of Inuit heritage without the further trauma of a drawn-out trial and returns to Inuit students the money and the opportunity taken from them through false claims of Inuit identity. Her jail sentence will warn those tempted in the future of what awaits them if they attempt to make such false claims.”

Philippe Plourde, Chief Federal Prosecutor in Nunavut, added: “We all have a responsibility to make sure this type of fraud is firmly denounced and punished. We will never tolerate this type of immoral and unjust action. The PPSC is resolute in its commitment to serve the community by ensuring that the funds obtained fraudulently by Ms. Manji be given back in their entirety. This money rightfully belongs to the Inuit of Nunavut and we are happy that it will now be used by Kakivak to create opportunities for Inuit students and empowering the community to thrive.”

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) is responsible for all criminal prosecutions within the Territory of Nunavut, and is committed to protect the safety of all Nunavumiut. Fraud committed against organizations like NTI, QIA and Kakivak, who work for the fulfillment of Nunavut Inuit, have deep-rooted consequences. The PPSC is committed to Inuit self-representation and committed to the reconciliation between the federal government and Inuit in Nunavut and acknowledges the historical and on-going failure to protect the lives, values, and culture of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

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