Queen's U Grads Support Indspire Scholarships with Indigenous Masks
Two Inuit sisters have fundraised over $6,000 to support scholarship programs through Indspire.
Amira and Nadya Gill started their company, Kanata Trade Co. in November, amid the pandemic. The two Inuit sisters, who are originally from Toronto, both attended Queen's University with the help of funding from Indspire, which provides scholarships to help Indigenous people across Canada attend university and college. The Gill sisters both benefited from the program and wanted to give back to the people who helped them.
Kanata Trade Co. commissions Indigenous artists from across Canada and uses the artwork to create journals, cards, masks, and more. All profits from their mask sales are donated to Indspire, and the Indigenous artists who design the masks receive a royalty every time a mask is sold. So far, Kanata Trade Co. has sold and donated 3,000 masks and raised approximately $6,000 for Indspire. The description and meaning behind the art can be found on the back of each mask.
"The motivation behind this is extremely geared towards just helping Indigenous people receive a post-secondary education so that they can grow and they can make the changes that they see fit to make because, you know, they've been held back for so long," Nadya explained. Amira added, "It's more rewarding knowing that I'm helping someone else meet their goals and dreams so that they're able to have a better life that they always wanted or dreamed of."
The Residence Society (ResSoc) at Queen's University bought Kanata face masks for all residence students and staff members.
Nadya encouraged others to consider hosting a third-party fundraising event for Indspire.
"Everything helps! You can create a new future for students, communities, and the world around us."
You, too, can support the amazing work Indspire is doing with Canada's Indigenous community. To contribute, please visit the Indspire website.
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