Kiwi's moving haka to inspire Dakota pipeline protesters

A Kiwi man performed a haka for Native Americans protesting against the proposed, and controversial, oil pipeline in North Dakota.

The New Zealander performed the Ngati Kahungunu haka Tika Tonu for the protesters - including Standing Rock Sioux tribespeople - at the Dakota Access Pipeline site in North Dakota.

As the haka is being performed, a man stands behind him holding the Tino rangatiratanga flag - the flag of Maori sovereignty.

The video was posted online as thousands of people, including Maori, joined a Facebook group to show support for those protesting the pipeline, which would cut through a sacred burial ground.

For months now, opponents of the US$3.8 billion pipeline - which is slated to move oil from North Dakota though South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois - have been camping near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers.

They worry the project will disrupt cultural artefact's and hurt drinking water sources on the Standing Rock Sioux's nearby reservation and farther downstream because the pipeline will cross the Missouri River.

The Texas-based company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, insists the project is safe.

Protesters have been crowdsourcing to help fund their fight which has since topped a staggering US$1million.

The fund is among several cash streams that have provided at least US$3 million to help with legal costs, food and other supplies to those opposing the nearly 1930km pipeline.

The tribe is fighting the pipeline's permitting process in federal court.

However, it appears the pipeline has some top level support in the form of presidential candidate Donald Trump who owns stock in the company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline across the Midwest.

Trump's 2016 federal disclosure forms, filed in May, show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

- NZ Herald

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