Jersey's Assistant Minister for Culture is calling for a special day to be created to remember the slave trade, and for an Equalities and Human Rights Commission to be set up.
The proposals will be go before the States Assembly this week.
Deputy Montfort Tadier’s initial proposition requested that Trenton Square, the name of which comes from a New Jersey town named after slave trader William Trent, be renamed Benin Square to commemorate the victims of the slave trade.
It also asked that a report on a permanent memorial acknowledging Jersey’s part in the slave trade be commissioned for 2021, and that place names linked with slavery be reassessed.
However, three new amendments were made by Deputy Tadier on Tuesday last week, and feature suggestions like adding the name of a Native American Tribe to the square’s name and holding an International Day of Remembrance.
Pictured: Deputy Tadier said part of the proposal was recognising "there are histories (plural) and that those histories change depending on who is narrating them."
Deputy Tadier’s proposals are:
Speaking to Express on why he had put in the various amendments, Deputy Tadier said: “It was always my intention to add to the proposition because it is a very wide subject.”
On why he had focused on the Lenape Tribe, Deputy Tadier explained that he thought, “...the story of Jersey’s links with New Jersey are intrinsically linked with Native American tribes who were displaced from their homeland,” and that unlike his first ‘Benin Square’ idea, it “doesn’t put away with the twinning” between Jersey and Trenton.
Though he said he did not know the precise costs that a Human Rights Commission would entail, he said that “there’s a cost to discrimination – there’s an economic cost, and there’s also a personal and social cost.”
Pictured: The proposal comes amongst wider debate about Jersey's relationship with the slave trade.
When asked if he had an ideal outcome from the options, Deputy Tadier said he was “open” to both the Benin and Lenape names, saying: “I just hope that we have a constructive and compassionate debate.”
He added: “It’s just about making progress really, accepting that we’ve got the cosmopolitan community we always have had, and that it’s important to listen to all voices.”
Deputy Jess Perchard also put forward an amendment last month, suggesting that Black Lives Matter Jersey should be the ones to rename Trenton Square.
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