From the Dakotas to Missouri, the fight for water lives on

2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago Thursday, February 08 2018 Feb 8, 2018 Thursday, February 08, 2018 5:40:00 PM CST February 08, 2018 in Continuous News
By: Eric Graves, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Maya Ketajanka saw the protests on Standing Rock Reservation first hand more than a year ago, now, he has brought the fight back to Missouri.

Inspired by the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of others in North Dakota, Ketajanka created the Protectors of Water and Land.

PWL is a small group in Columbia focused on protecting and connecting people back to the waters and lands of Missouri, and keeping the Missouri River clean.

“All that happened in Standing Rock lit a fire in here,” Ketajanka said, gesturing to his chest.

From November of 2016 to January of 2017, they organized events, gathered donations and supplies and sent groups to North Dakota to help the protesters.

Ketajanka said he comes from a long line of warriors and he fights for what he believes in. In English, Ketajanka translates to Big Soldier. To show his fighting spirit Ketajanka raises his fist in the air.

"I hold that up stating that I'm here to fight, I'm here for this fight. Not only for water and land, but for humanity," Ketajanka said.

When the protest was forcibly stopped Ketajanka was disheartened, but realized he could bring the fight down stream to the Missouri River.

Ketajanka and others involved with PWL know how important the Missouri River is to everything around it and want to help start a conversation about the river.

“Use of our voices, which is very very powerful, that's one of the most powerful forces we have,” Ketajanka said.

This mission and conversation is not something one group can do alone, however.

“The analogy about the three strand cord, whenever two or more are joined together they are much stronger than just one,” Ketajanka said.

A strand of that cord is Missouri River Relief, a group that educates people about the Missouri River, organizes river clean-up groups and works with smaller organizations, like PWL.

Steve Schnarr has worked first-hand with Ketajanka and PWL and likes to see groups like this trying to help the Missouri River.

“To see a new energetic passionate group form before our eyes and find ways we can work together," Schnarr said.

Schnarr said the lesson they teach most is that the Missouri River makes up 41% of the drinking water for Missouri, however problems with litter and contaminants in the water make it harder for that water to become safe to drink.

Both Ketajanka and Schnarr know they need to get people to the river for them to start to care more about it.

"To raise that awareness, getting people to the river and developing a relationship with it," Ketajanka said.

Although the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation are over, Schnarr knows the momentum from this event can continue.

"The challenge for all of us who are looking for long term relationships and benefits for the Missouri River, is to take that spark that was created from something like that and kindling it, helping to grow something continuously from that," he said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - With only eight days left until DACA recipients’ permits start to expire on March 5, a rally at... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 6:26:00 PM CST February 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- On Sunday, MU Theatre closed out the world premiere of The Green Duck Lounge, a play that explores race... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 3:45:00 PM CST February 25, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Callaway County deputies detained a 13-year-old student Friday for allegedly making a threat against Auxvasse Elementary school. ... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST February 25, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s largest indoor garage sale brought people from far and wide with over 60 vendors in the Columbia... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 3:06:00 PM CST February 25, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – Missouri River Relief hit the road Sunday to clean litter off the streets in order to keep it... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 2:59:00 PM CST February 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Renovation work on the State Capitol building in Jefferson City begins next week. The... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 1:02:27 PM CST February 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Dogs are putting their hunting skills to the test at a nationwide event in Columbia this weekend. ... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, February 25 2018 Feb 25, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 12:32:00 AM CST February 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - People from the community put on their bowling shoes to help raise money for a local high school.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A popular Asian elephant at the Saint Louis Zoo has died. The zoo... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:23:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - Black History Month is coming to an end, but there's still a lot to celebrate. Members of the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Having a healthy heart was a lesson for people of all ages on Saturday. People attending “Be... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 4:05:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police have taken a 13-year-old male into custody Saturday in connection with a social media post community... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:38:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a pedestrian has been hit and killed in a southeastern section of St. Louis.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:39:04 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Cradle to Career Alliance hosted a symposium Saturday on what strategies they recommend to help increase your... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two men convicted in a 2015 drive-by shooting of a St. Louis police sergeant have been sentenced... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:44:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of financially exploiting an older Springfield woman. Howard Roberts of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
Chesterfield, MO - Nearly two weeks after a shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed seventeen students and teachers, students... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:18:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some veterans living in or near the Truman VA clinic often have to make the drive to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:07:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
10pm 38°
11pm 36°
12am 36°
1am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:30p
A.P. Bio
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy
10:00p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
9:30p
A.P. Bio
7:00p
It Could Happen to You
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy