"To apologise he should repatriate our cultural and ancestral heritage". That was the reaction of one of the oldest Native American Indian advocacy groups after Spanish foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell expressed "regret" for controversial comments he made earlier this week.
In statements to the Catalan News Agency, the association's executive director, Shannon Keller O'Loughlin, said that Borrell is "misinformed" on the history of the United States. She suggested he "look at his own museums in Spain" where he'll find "stolen cultural heritage, holy objects and ancestral remains" which were "stolen and looted from American Indians".
"The foreign affairs minister seems to think that we're perfectly integrated here in the United States, that we speak a single language and we have no horrible history. Maybe he needs a complete education about the millions of American Indians who were murdered, devastated by diseases, dispossessed of their lands, robbed of their tombs or who saw their children kidnapped," she said.
The Association on American Indian Affairs, founded in 1922, is one of the oldest in the United States. They remind Borrell that still today Native Americans "continue suffering from the failure of the USA to recognise" their lands and their rights "to their culture, to their children and to sovereignty". She called on him to apologise: "He should educate himself and apologise for his misinformed comments on American history".