Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Youth Honored at Awards Banquet

Last Thursday, the Education Committee hosted the annual Awards Banquet to honor students who completed Kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade, High School and College. Academic and sports achievements were also honored.

This year, Wayne LaBine, the new Education Coordinator, welcomed everyone. A meal was served, sponsored by the Mole Lake Casino, and families gathered to celebrate their youth’s accomplishments.

Chairman Van Zile spoke to the graduates and their families. He spoke of the need for good role models and shared that his grandmothers were his role models. While neither attended themselves, they made him go to school.

“I think they were saying ‘we love you grandson. Go to school today and learn all you can then bring it home for the people. Then we all benefit by that.’ Keeping the cultural and traditional ways alive, and keeping what was given to us by the Great Spirit, is our responsibility,” Chairman Van Zile said.

Wayne introduced Bronson Koenig, a Member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, graduate of UW-Madison, and player with the Wisconsin Badgers Men’s Basketball Team from 2013-2017, who spoke to the audience about his experiences.

Bronson graduated from UW-Madison with a Bachelor’s degree. “No one can take my degree. I visit reservations and see so much talent. I do what I do to be a mentor. It’s important to have someone who supports you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions. Utilize your resources,” Bronson shared.


Students honored and recognized for their accomplishments included:



Congratulations to everyone!