Decisions about the distribution of Rent money is made exclusively by a Sovereign Body of First Nations people. That is, the money always and only belongs to Aboriginal people.
The Sovereign Body is supported by a corporate arm, which deals with the colonial state. If, at any time, the Sovereign Body decides that the corporate arm is not acting in its interests, it may cut the arm off and grow a new one. If that were to happen, all money would remain with the Sovereign Body.
Members of the corporate arm give their time freely.
This Pay the Rent initiative was established in light of the urgent need to fund action by Aboriginal organisers at the grassroots. While it is presently limited in scope to the colonial state of Victoria, we are exploring questions about whether and how it might reach Aboriginal people in other parts of the colonial nation. These issues impact upon the colonial legal structure that the corporate arm adopts; legal advice is currently being sought.
You can also make payments via direct deposit into the following bank accounts:
Pay the Rent*
Account Number: 12236481
*This is the main Pay the Rent fund and will be distributed as per instructions from the First Nations Sovereign body.
Account Number: 12237641
*This account will be used to pay for funerals of First Nations people as directed by the First Nations Sovereign body.
Grandmothers Against Removals (VIC)*
Account Number: 12257456
*All monies in this account will be used for Grandmothers Against Removals.
It is preferable that non-Indigenous people pay a percentage
of their income each year as Rent, rather than a fixed amount. This is more
equitable, as it means people who can afford to pay more, do so. A percentage could also apply to Rent for special events (for example, as a percentage of expenditure on a wedding; or of income for a festival).
One percent is a good rule of thumb.
Rent is for the land you live on and/or benefit from. Ideally, it would be paid to as local a group as possible; but colonial practices (continuing to this day) have decimated some nations and/or clans and made it hard to establish who to pay. Also, given that there are many more people living in cities, paying only to local groups would disadvantage groups in country areas. Over time, as First Nations people strengthen or re-establish connections with country, or organise in new ways, it will hopefully get easier to Pay the Rent to a local group. We always encourage you to explore this possibility.
For most of us, the footprint of our lives is much larger than the land we actually live on. Recognising that most non-Indigenous people benefit in myriad varied ways from the theft of land across the continent, it might also be appropriate to Pay the Rent in a way that also compensates Aboriginal people from whose lands resources like electricity, timber, water, mining and agricultural products are drawn and where waste is disposed (etc).
This Pay the Rent collective has chosen to support grassroots First Nations people working to strengthen any one of the five interconnected pillars of Aboriginal sovereignty and belonging: Land, Law, Kinship, Ceremony, Language (see more).