Question reference: S6W-12106
- Date lodged: 10 November 2022
Current status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 23 November 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the repatriation of funding from the Dick Bequest, which was reportedly gained through slavery in Jamaica and is used to fund educational projects in Aberdeenshire.
The Scottish Government does not have the legal power to direct charitable activity. That is a decision for the charity’s trustees, taking advice as appropriate, including from OSCR, and accordingly the Scottish Government is unable to intervene in this matter.
This government is clear that we must never ignore or seek to hide the difficult aspects of our country’s history and we acknowledge Scotland's complex past, including our involvement in the slave trade.
The working group, “Empire, Slavery and Scotland’s Museums: Addressing our Colonial Legacy” has made recommendations about how best to manage, present and protect elements of our contested or hidden heritage. We are carefully considering our response to these recommendations and will be meeting with its members and Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) to discuss the best ways to take this work forward. As an initial step the Scottish Government has provided £68,000 to MGS, as the museums development body in Scotland, so they can begin to support the sector to address these recommendations.
The Race Equality and Anti-Racism in Education Programme is considering how to embed anti-racism in education, including curriculum reform to ensure our historic past is accurately reflected.