Huy Chairman Gabe Galanda Named Indian Country “Visionary”

Nov 11th, 2013

Richard Walker of the Indian Country Today Media Network published an article titled, “5 Visionaries Who See a Brighter Future for Indian Country,” naming Huy Board Chairman Gabe Galanda as one of “five people are rocking the world with their forward thinking, innovation and commitment to social justice.”

3. Gabe Galanda, Round Valley Indian Tribes: Paving the Red Road to Recovery for Inmates

The efforts of this Seattle-based lawyer are helping Native Americans in prison to walk the red road to recovery. Galanda formed the nonprofit organization Huy (pronounced “Hoyt”) essentially meaning “I’ll see you later.” (Coast Salish people do not have a word for “goodbye.”) In Washington state, Huy won changes in policies that blocked Native American inmates’ access to traditional religious practices and sacred items.

Huy is lobbying for similar changes nationwide. The organization asked the U.N. Human Rights Committee for an inquiry into restrictions upon Native inmates’ religious freedoms, and appeared as a friend of the court in support of those freedoms. Galanda argues that restricting such freedoms violates federal, state and international law. For some Native inmates, walking the red road while behind bars is the only road to rehabilitation and survival.

“Today’s powwow, everything that we do is to give back, to show our kids and our families that we’re going to work on getting back to those ways, getting back to spirituality and things that matter,” inmate Seymour Ruben told the Cheney Free Press during an August 1 powwow at Airway Heights Corrections Center.