Treaty must bridge the economic divide caused by dispossession and the Assembly is negotiating the establishment of a First Peoples controlled and managed Self-Determination Fund.
The self-determination fund will do two key things. It will enable Traditional Owners to enter Treaty negotiations with the Government on a more level playing field. Beyond negotiations, it will also empower our communities to build wealth and greater capacity for future generations.
“Yes, we want to enjoy, celebrate and share our culture, but treaty needs to be more than that. It also needs to deliver to our people the economic independence required to achieve self-determination.”
— Marcus Stewart, Assembly Co-Chair.
The Assembly will be responsible for managing and administering the Self-Determination Fund for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria now and into the future. This means that First Peoples are making decisions about First Peoples’ financial resources.
The Assembly’s elected Members developed an initial proposal for the Self-Determination Fund which helped inform Community feedback and consultations earlier this year. The details of the fund are now being further developed and will be part of negotiations with the government to agree on the ‘Treaty Negotiation Framework.
Ultimately, the fund will help ensure Traditional Owners a “Treaty-ready” and will be a shared resource that First Peoples in Victoria to drive our own priorities and aspirations, and freely determine how to build capacity, wealth, and prosperity for current and future generations.