In June 2019 my family went to Iqaluit to visit our son Max, who was working there as a cook. I messaged a man I knew on Facebook who helped with a foodbank to see what he needed. He told me that the teachers were asking for sanitary supplies. I posted a request for help on Twitter and Facebook thinking that I would get maybe $100 to fill a suitcase. I got almost $2,000. We filled four hockey bags.
You can read about that here
Several people who had donated asked if they could help on an ongoing basis. Then one day on Twitter I was engaging with a settler who could not stop feeling guilty. I suggested that if they felt that bad they could pay some rent, help out Indigenous people. That cheeky comment became the online fundraiser Pay Your Rent.
Since it’s beginning in early 2019, Pay Your Rent has grown to 127 patrons. We have joined with the Ottawa Chapter of Moon Time sisters to ensure regular shipments of sanitary supplies to the women’s shelter and the soup kitchen in Iqaluit as well as orders through Amazon Prime when more is needed. We have a fund for water protectors in Antigonish who are opposing Alton Gas. We support cultural teachings at the high school on Lac Seul Reserve in northwestern Ontario. Our newest project is a resource library for parents and friends of 2SLGBTQIAA youth in Sioux Lookout. We are also able to provide intermittent help like groceries, rent relief, and small scale disaster response.
This fundraiser also helps to cover costs associated with this website and the podcast. We believe it is important to compensate labour and our guests are often activists in their own right.