Innu leader Daniel Ashini was arrested by the RCMP on July 14 in connection with an Innu protest against low-level military flights over Nitassinan.

Ashini was locked up in the RCMP facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. He was convicted last year after an occupation of Dutch F-16s during a runway protest at Canadian Forces Bay Goose Bay in Sept. 1993.

The occupation happened during a visit of the Dutch Minister of Defence.

Ashini had to serve 10 days in jail after refusing to pay a $250 fine.

“I chose not to pay the fine because I do not believe that I am guilty of a crime. It is not a crime for Innu people to defend their land and way of life,” said Ashini, who is director of Innu rights for the Innu Nation and lives in Sheshatshiu.

Canada recently renewed its deal allowing several other countries to conduct the thousands of low-level flights each year in Nitassinan.

After Ashini’s arrest, eight other Innu people were also arrested and locked up. They are Caroline Penashue, Clem Andrew, Sebastian and Christine Nuna, Anne Rich, Mary Anne Abraham, Bernadette Penunsi and Domenic Rich.