Canadian First Nations chief boards Gaza flotilla to protest against worldwide scourge of colonialism.
Robert Lovelace is a professor in the department of global development studies and a former chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. He spent 103 days in prison for defying a court injunction and continuing to protest against uranium mining on disputed land.
By Antonia Zerbisias
Robert Lovelace is still haunted by the Palestinian refugees in the grainy newsreels he saw as a boy.
Not surprising. For this former Ardoch Algonquin First Nations chief, the footage conjured up images from Canadian history’s darkest chapters – indigenous people being driven from their land and onto reserves.
“Those newsreels left a mark on me,” he tells Al Jazeera in a telephone interview. “These people who were homeless, carrying everything that they had. So I have always been interested in what has been going on in the Middle East.”
Lovelace, 67, is an aboriginal activist and semi-retired Global Development Studies professor at Queen’s University just south of his ancestral land in Ontario.
A father of eight, he has stood up against governments and corporations which have attempted to mine his people’s land, contaminate their water and plunder their sacred wild rice beds.