Native elder on fifth day of hunger strike was jailed for protest

Family and friends say they fear for the life of an aboriginal elder in Labrador who was in the fifth day of a hunger strike Tuesday to protest the Muskrat Falls hydro project.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Family and friends say they fear for the life of an aboriginal elder in Labrador who was in the fifth day of a hunger strike Tuesday to protest the Muskrat Falls hydro project.

James Learning, 74, was arrested Friday with seven other protesters who slowed traffic near the $7.7-billion development.

Roberta Frampton Benefiel, Learning’s companion since 1992, said he is refusing food to fight a court injunction that she says restricts access to traditional hunting and trapping lands around Muskrat Falls.