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

1 year 6 months 1 week 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 - The man who allegedly killed a woman who has been missing since 2006 arrived in Boone County Tuesday... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:28:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON - One person has minor burns after a fire Tuesday evening at an auto shop in Camdenton. According... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:07:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Businesses who are applying for their medical marijuana licenses in Columbia are one step closer after Monday night's... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Finding the perfect parking spot can be a hassle, but it can be even more difficult if you... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:30:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Construction crews are continuing to work on both Jefferson City public high schools in preparation for classes... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
VIENNA - Multiple suspects are currently being questioned after officials said someone intentionally started the house fire leading to an... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:59:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The FEMA recovery center for Cole County closed its doors Tuesday. The center helped hundreds of... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:51:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — State officials say an improving economy is one of several factors that led to close to... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An increased focus on climate change from legislature and activists has prompted utilities providers to implement renewable energies... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:09:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A group of Missouri protesters are taking a stand against self-driving trucks in the state. Over 29... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:47:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge issued a restraining order Monday against Senate Bill 391, regarding regulation of concentrated... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS — Major League Soccer has awarded the next expansion franchise to St. Louis, where a new downtown stadium... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:33:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY — A former teacher at a Catholic school in Kansas City alleges in a lawsuit that she was... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:15:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County FEMA Disaster Relief Center in Jefferson City is wrapping up operations on Tuesday, but... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:04:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Department of Health and Senior Services received over 2,100 medical marijuana facility applications by the deadline.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 7:37:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Going grocery shopping Tuesday could impact more than just your own home. Lucky's Market and The Food Bank... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 6:26:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital announced and signed a partnership to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- The Jefferson City Memorial Airport could face demolition after suffering major flood damages. Airport officials are... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 2:08:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
3am 76°
4am 76°
5am 76°
6am 75°