The oldest NGO supporting native Americans, the Association on American Indian Affairs, has demanded an apology from Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell after he said that only “four Indians” were killed during the process of US independence.

The leader of the association, Shannon Keller O’Loughlin, said to the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that Borrell “should be educated and apologise for his uninformed understanding of American history.”

Millions of American Indians

“Perhaps he needs a full education about the millions of American Indians that were slaughtered, ravaged by disease, dispossessed of their lands, graves robbed and children kidnapped,” she added.

For the NGO’s leader, Borrell seems to think the American Indians “are wonderfully integrated here in the US, speaking one language, and without any horrible histories.”

Indeed, she claims that that this community is still struggling with “the US’s failure to recognize” their lands and rights to their culture and sovereignty.

Repatrating “stolen and looted” goods

Keller O’Loughlin took the chance to ask him to repatriate” the cultural belongings and ancestral remains from the American Indians in the Spanish museums still now, which were “stolen and looted,” she said.

Founded in 1922, the Association on American Indian Affairs is the oldest NGO for this community and “protecting sovereignty, preserving culture, educating youth and building capacity” are among their aims.

Borrell’s words

“Why has the US a higher level of political integration? Firstly, they all speak the same language. And secondly, they have practically no previous history. They got independence with practically no history. All they did was kill four Indians” he said while taking part in an event at a Madrid university on Tuesday.

Later on via Twitter Borrell regretted having used “excessively informal” words to talk about the issue and said he has “solidarity and respect” for the American Indian community.