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

7 months 2 weeks 1 day 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 - 'Welcome Home' and 'Cars4Heroes' gave a new car to an Army veteran who now makes a living out... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 8:03:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In the past the the Roots N Blues N BBQ festival has consisted of three days of music,... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:32:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - JEFFTRAN will host an open house Tuesday to discuss proposed changes to the city’s existing bus routes. ... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 25 2018 Sep 25, 2018 Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:03:00 AM CDT September 25, 2018 in News
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company without explanation. ... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 11:02:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Friends and loved ones of MU student Perri A. Jones mourned the loss of Jones at a vigil... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More church volunteers are heading to North Carolina Monday night to help communities deal with Hurricane Florence.... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 6:50:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court won't reconsider a ruling allowing voters to decide on a ballot measure... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 5:33:41 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Officials say they arrested a suspect in Chicago for the June murder of Tyler J. Worthington. ... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is defending his lawsuit against the operators of a duck boat... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 4:30:25 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Police are searching for a man who stole gasoline, according to a Facebook post Monday morning. Boonville... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 4:00:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Border security and immigration continue to be huge issues for Missouri's November senate race between Sen. Claire McCaskill,... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 4:00:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The U.S. attorney's office says a former central Missouri tax collector has pleaded guilty to embezzling... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States report Monday, and the numbers showed violent... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas priest still holds medical licenses in Kansas and Missouri despite being defrocked... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 3:29:15 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A law requiring a photo ID to vote is at the center of a lawsuit beginning Monday... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A child sex investigation that started in Boone County has led to a man pleading guilty to... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 2:51:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal grand jury added charges in the case against a Columbia man accused of trying to... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein headed to the White House on Monday expecting to be fired by... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 10:30:53 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
10am 72°
11am 75°
12pm 77°
1pm 79°