Robert Free Galvin Indian Rights Activist and Member of the Tewa and the Naua Nations

We are Still Engaged in Survival After the Genocide of All Indians - Part One

16 March, 12:53  Download audio file

The Doctrine of Discovery that allowed the stealing of Indian Lands and the genocide of the Indian peoples has never been rescinded by the Catholic Church. Today the Indians are still faced with ignorant racism and their lands are still being raped and destroyed by multi-national corporations and companies in their quest for oil and resources. The result has been poisoned water supplies and birth deformities and miscarriages because of pollutants and the poisoning of the Indian lands.

I am speaking with Robert Free, a long-time Indian rights activist and the member of Tewa and Naua Nations.


Robles: What are some of the issues that you are fighting for now for the Indian people?

Free: It is relevant to all indigenous people on the planet and to all people who live on this planet, the issues we’re struggling for our survival, to maintain our sacred mother Earth for the future generations to enjoy, to be able to live from.

Now we are engaged in survival from the genocide that has happened particularly in the North and South Americas, we are still recovering from the Doctrine of Discovery that was given the green light for all the nations of Europe to come on to our continents and commit genocide and land theft if you were not the Christian, if you were not white, the invading armies were allowed to slaughter and take, for the crowns of Europe, the territories and any of the resources of gold and silver from it, and to enslave all the people there, to mine these resources for the Renaissance of Europe and the entrenchment of the churches on the planet.

Robles: What is your opinion on what they did?

Free: That is sad side of human nature, and the moral mask that some people can project, but actually do something else. Where you have the churches and you have the imperial invasions going on in the names of the crowns of Europe, coming to our parts of the world and after the rampage of disease, wiping out millions, just literally slaughtering any resistance to their incursions.

So, it is no difference today. Today it has a different name and a different face but basically you have the multi-nationals representing the crowns of Europe, in a way, and you have these multi-nationals crossing all the territories now and not being held accountable to the incursions they are doing in indigenous territories for gold, silver, the same metals, and a few other new ones, oil and coal, so that is what is going on today.

I will give you a very specific example, you have Canada, who has sold itself to the planet as being a very eco-friendly peace-loving country, actually committing 80% of the mineral extraction on the planet.

To make it more specific, we take British Columbia, where there are about 1,500 mining companies registered. Those mining companies are in Central America, in South America, the Philippines, other parts of the world, Haiti, and doing devastating destruction to the land where it pollutes the waters where people, live causing great health issues amongst the people; from miscarriages to deformities to cancers. So, that is what is going on.

You want me to tell you what is going on on the planet Earth, and in the name of struggle, stop free pass that multi-nationals have, to go into indigenous people’s territories or anyone on the planet, without any accountability to the destruction to the environment and to the people that they affect.


Robles: Is there anything we can do to ensure that rights are being protected in some way?

Free: We were directed 40 years by elders in the Standing Rock Reservation to… After Wounded Knee, after we did a stand-off of 72 days against 500 armed military US marshals who shot 900,000 bullets at us, after that truce we saw that we would get no justice in the United States.

So, we were directed to go to the global communities of the world, so people went to the United Nations, and after 35 years finally got the Declaration of Indigenous People’s Rights passed by all the nations.

So, we’ve gone to those areas of moral accountability to put pressure on these countries to hold their multi-nationals accountable, so that is a lot that is going on right now.

That route is going on right now at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous People and the preparations for the World Conference on Indigenous People in 2014 that is going to be held over in New York.

Robles: Do you think they will actually change anything, or produce any visible results?

Free: I don’t think so. The United Nations is not too good at having any enforcibility. We’ve seen that since its inception, hasn’t really been able, unless it is US driven or multi-national driven, that it gets a lot of results. It’s just that they fund the United Nations.

I was up in Canada in the 70s and the Dene and Chippewyan up that way increased, took me hunting and trapping way up on some beautiful territory. It was so, you had to fly in 500 miles and land there, there are no roads.

Now I just happened to bury a friend of mine up that ways, and all those folks were at this funeral, and they were telling me: they have to now bring their own water out into the bush, they to call it, because it is so polluted they can’t even make tea in the field, so they can only carry about 2-3 days worth of water.

They can’t drink that water that was from the lake of Athabasca or Peace River because upstream is the tar sands of Alberta that is polluting all that beautiful area. So, they can’t even eat the fish, they are having miscarriages and nothing is being done for that.

Robles: Can you tell us some of the other realities that American Indians are faced with in this day and age? Can you tell us a little bit about your tribes, the Tewa and Naua?

Free: The issues faced right now by a lot of Indians is the pipelines that are going to come out of the tar sands areas of Alberta, down all the way to the Dakotas, all the way down to Louisiana, to pipe the oil over to Europe and to China.

The other angle is the pipeline from Alberta all across British Columbia down to north of Vancouver and they are trying to make a pipeline over to the east coast of Canada, trying to ship it in that direction.

Robles: What would you say to counter racist stereotypes against Indians?

Free: They are ignorant and they are all products of educational systems that perpetuate this ignorance and until we write our own books and if they are not included in all the educational system curriculum, that ignorance will continue.

Robles: What would you say is one of the biggest lies told by Europeans or their ancestors against the Indian peoples?

Free: The Doctrine of Discovery that gave them permission to come onto lands and take them if they were not Christian, and that is still in effect and hasn’t been rescinded by the Catholic Church.

A couple of years after Columbus landed over here the Church saw the abundance of gold and lands that came back, and so they did a Doctrine of Discovery where they got 10% of all armies’ acquisitions and 10% of all the gold and silver.

Robles: Thank you.

Free: Okay. Keep up the good work.

This is John Robles, I was taking to Mr. Robert Free, a long-time Indian Rights activist and the member of Tewa and Naua nations.

End of part 1.

The World did not Blink an Eye Over the Recent Genocide of Mayan Indians - Part Two

Mayan Indians mourn outside the Metropolitan Cathedral during the funeral of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala City, 29 April, 1998.

Mayan Indians mourn outside the Metropolitan Cathedral during the funeral of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala City, 29 April, 1998.

25 March, 15:52 1   Download audio file

According to Indian teachings those governing and ruling our planet should plan seven generations ahead and ensure that our Mother Earth is being taken care of and respected. The world has also ignored the fact that in the 1980s genocide was committed against approximately 250,000 Mayan Indians in Guatemala and South and Central America with the support of the United States. Long time Indian Rights activist Robert Free Galvan spoke with the VOR’s John Robles about these matters and much more.  

This is part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find the first part here: PART 1 

Hello! This is John Robles, I'm speaking with the Robert Free (Galvan). He is a long time Indian rights activist and a member of Tewa and Naua Nations.

Free: It’s called the Doctrine of Discovery.

Robles: How could you possibly discover a land where there were civilizations and people living for thousands of years in peace?

Free: It’s “people” racism. If you are not white, then they are better than you. And they used racism to validate and justify their actions. That’s how they can “not see” the great civilizations and let their greed be their motivator.

Robles: And they characterized most native peoples as being some sort of savages when they came in themselves and eradicated everyone they could possibly eradicate.

Free: Well, at least we took bathes and washed daily. When they first got here they were reeking of their stench.

Robles: Most of the Europeans that arrived in the Americas, they were outcasts and criminals and killers from the worst segments of British and European society.

Free: Well, they are still the same people attacking the territories of North and South America and Central America. They just have different names and have “suits” but they are just as ruthless.

They hired thugs and armies to do their security, these multinationals. And they hunt down activists and they shoot them, down there in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru. That’s all happening today.

While the numbers might be smaller, the effects of their industry is killing thousands with the cancers and the birth deffects. They also used government armies, such as in Guatemala, to annihilate a quarter of a million people, in the last ten years during the 80s and the world did not blink of an eye.

Robles: A quarter of a million people?

Free: Yes. It was supported by School of the Americas, by the United States.

Robles: These were people where?

Free: In Guatemala, the Mayan Indians.

Robles: During which time period?

Free: During the 80s. It is pretty well documented. And the armies which were supported by the United States, got their training at the School of the Americas in Georgia.

Robles: What do know about the School of the Americas?

Free: It’s a training place. The United States Government provides money and military assistance to the military regimes, especially in South America, and provides them training. In their training in the School of the Americas, they teach them how to torture people and extract information from them, and how to hunt down activists.

I remember I went to a world youth and students gathering in East Berlin after the Wounded Knee shoot out in 1973. And I remember having these discussions, there were about 150,000 very different people from around the world, and I was get into these deep arguments with Communists, Leninists, Maoists, Trotskyists, all these people because at one time I made the statement, I said; “I don’t see anything different between the capitalists and the communists and the socialists, when it comes to how they treat this Mother Earth.

They all extract minerals wantonly and destructively. And then I got all these people charging at me. And I said: “If you get the five minutes I will explain myself why I said what I said.”

And I went on to explain to them why I said what I said, and they were all quiet.

Robles: Why do you feel that way?

Free: I only know what I’ve been taught by elders.

At one time I used to travel around the country with Thomas Banyacya who was a Hopi Indian and Nazer Anderson who was a Tuscarora for the Six Nations Confederacy.

And I went to the Six Nations Confederacy where they have a meeting of 52 chiefs of the Six Nations, and they speak the great law of peace that is the law of the Six Nations. And they spoke in their six different languages, and they added English, somebody would write and translate.

And in there, in this Longhouse, as they spoke these great laws, like who is supposed to elect the chiefs: the women are, because they raise the kid and they know the character of somebody for instance. And as they were translating the Clan Mother Audrey Shenandoah looked down and mentioned to us: “Oh, that’s where Benjamin Franklin sat, that’s where George Washington sat, that’s where Thomas Jefferson sat. And there was one more person but I won’t mention it right now.

But I’ve mentioned to the people in Berlin. I said: “If you are Communist, where do you get your doctrines from?”

And they said, “Well, Lenin.”

I said: “That’s good, what did Lenin base his theories on?”

“He read Engels.”

“Where did they get their doctrines from and formulate the theories?”

 And the more we did this, the less they knew.

Finally, one of them said: “Lewis…”, Oh, I’ve forgot his name, “… who went around the country studying tribes and their forms of government.”

And when they did that it was so funny! That years later they made a mistake. One turned out to be the great capitalist countries, the others turned out to be the great communist countries, based on their observations and learnings, looking at the Indigenous Governments of the Six Nations.

Robles: The Indian nations had the world’s actual first real democracies, I mean, the Europeans did not have anything, they had monarchies, they had brutal dictatorships, they had no democracy.

Free: Yes. And that’s what they were saying, that these folks came over and observed the teachings. And eventually, they both left out something.

The capitalists did a separation of church and state, and the communists denied any of that. So, they both left out the spirituality that should dictate and be in harmony with the decisions that they will do on our planet.

They are supposed to make decisions and treat our planet Earth with the impact it will have on seven generations ahead of us. And when they do that, then they are in more harmonious-caretaking of our planet Earth.

So, that’s something I share.

Robles: That was very interesting, thank you. Maybe for them deleting that part of the equation was the only way they could continue to exist or justify their own existence.

Free: “Lewis Morgan!” That’s his name, Morgan. Lewis Morgan was studied by Engels and Marxists and then by Lenin. But they all extracted and left out the spiritual part.

And then Thomas Jefferson and Washington, and Ben Franklin, all those studied and listened to the Six Nations, give power to different nations, a number of their representatives, and modeled the United States Constitution after that.

But they separated the church and state, and by doing that, they all left out spirituality, in relation to our mother Earth and taking care of it.

So, you have both of them, both the Communists and Capitalists assaulting our planet Earth, going after minerals and resources, and doing devastation with no accountability.

This is John Robles, I was talking to Mr. Robert Free. He is a long time Indian activist and a member of Tewa and Naua Nations. Thanks for listening and as always I wish you the best.

This is the end of part 2 please come back soon for part three of this interview.


Last Update: 08/06/2023 03:24 +0300


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