Māori risk safety with haka at Standing Rock

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

At the risk of their own safety, a group of Māori performed haka at the frontline of the Osceti Sakowin camp in America. A group of six Māori have been at the camp since last Sunday, in support the Standing Rock’s Sioux tribes’ opposition to the Dakota pipeline. 

Kereama Te Ua and some Māori women went to pray at the frontline where authorities were positioned yesterday, (Thanksgiving Day).

“I didn't think I was going to do it there. I just had an overwhelming feeling to drop to my knee and deliver something from my ancestors, knowing full well that a haka would have provoked them, they wouldn't understand what it means, and these guys are looking at any reason to take a shot at us,” said Te Ua.

For months the Sioux tribe along with thousands from around the world have been camped at Standing Rock, to protest the construction of the underground pipeline, which they claim will pass through a sacred burial site.   

“It was really about my ancestors acknowledging their ancestors and letting them know that we're here to support them and even if we're not there ā tīnana, there's a maunga of people and a maunga of my ancestors standing behind me, standing for Standing Rock.”

Mānia Clarke will bring more on the story tonight at 5.30pm on Te Kāea.