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

6 months 5 days 1 hour 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
BOONE COUNTY - A chase through areas east of Columbia prompted modified lockdowns at five schools Wednesday morning. The... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 10:16:43 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - One westbound lane of I-70 east of Kingdom City is back open following a crash Wednesday morning.... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:09:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Two medical marijuana November ballot measures are going to court ahead of the election, less than three months... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:13:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A new grand jury report says that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:20:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
BEVIER, Mo. (AP) — A suspect is hospitalized after being shot by a sheriff's deputy in north-central Missouri. Macon... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:11:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a shots fired case in northeast Columbia. Around 2 a.m.... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:50:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Assistant Police Chief John Gordon says the police department will be beefing up patrols in downtown Columbia this... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:30:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer announced he is conceding the race for the Republican nomination for the governorship.... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:18:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU researchers say they've hit a "milestone" in developing a cancer treatment that could be more effective than... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Voters will now be able to decide whether or not they approve of a gas tax increase,... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:37:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge ruled against Traveler Indemnity Company in a lawsuit stemming from Ryan Ferguson's wrongful prosecution and conviction... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:24:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Indiana woman who lost nine members of her family in a duck boat sinking last month in... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:56:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A new state law on temporary license permits is just two weeks away from being enforced. The... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:02:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
VERSAILLES - The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said a man died from a gunshot wound on Sunday, and Versailles police... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:45:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - With school starting today for Columbia Public Schools students, some construction projects are finished while others are just... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:44:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Jefferson City - One person was injured in a car crash on the Missouri River Bridge on Tuesday. The... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:48:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An Osage County judge ruled in favor of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Aschroft on Tuesday in... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:34:43 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Macon County. The man whom a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:32:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
12pm 78°
1pm 78°
2pm 79°
3pm 80°