University of Wisconsin basketball star Bronson Koenig and his brother Miles are packing an 18-foot trailer with food, water, supplies and clothes to drive Friday to North Dakota to provide relief for Sioux tribal members locked in a showdown with an oil pipeline builder.

Born in La Crosse, 21-year-old Bronson and 26-year-old Miles are members of the Ho-Chunk Nation, whose president also joined thousands of other Native Americans who have descended upon prairies around Bismarck, N.D., in recent weeks to offer support and aid to members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who are protesting the construction of a pipeline through their reservation.

“I just felt obligated to help,” Miles said in an interview Monday afternoon. “I felt a calling from within me to stand and protect.”

The protest took a violent turn last week when company security guards unleashed attack dogs on the protesters, many of whom suffered puncture wounds from the bites from the dogs, whose mouths dripped with blood.

“It’s basically committing felonies,” said Miles, a community outreach organizer at Three Rivers House, a Ho-Chunk Branch in La Crosse. “It’s insane how the government allows that,” considering that officials took no action against the company. The attacks were against “children and pregnant women. It breaks my heart.”

After a circuit court judge ruled Friday that it would not grant the tribe’s request to halt the company’s pipeline construction, President Barack Obama stepped in and ordered the work stopped.

“I applaud him,” Miles said of the president. “I feel he’s always heard the voice of the natives.”

Bronson, an Aquinas High School basketball and UW’s starting point guard, was a major factor in getting the Badgers to the Final Four last season.

“I hope to bring awareness to the cause and give everyone there a little bit of joy and a little bit of hope,” Bronson told Yahoo sports today.

“I want to take time out of my schedule to pray with them and protest with them and show them that I’m right alongside them. They’ve always had my back whether I have an awful game or a great game, and this is my way of repaying the favor,” he said.

The brothers plan to take some of of their own clothing, especially warm clothes, and any donations that people offer, Miles said.

"They're going to be out there all winter," he said.

Anyone who wants to donate can call Miles at 608-433-8521.

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For more on this story, see Tuesday's La Crosse Tribune.



Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

(43) comments


It is absolutely the height of hypocrisy for members of a tribe that makes millions off gambling, alcohol, tobacco and gasoline to protest a pipeline off the reservation in another state that wil transport crude oil from yet another native tribe.

Where does Ho Chunk get the fuel for its gas stations?

How much of the Ho Chunks revenue is "invested" in green energy?

Given the casino monopoly they have been given in the State, you would expect them to convert all their buildings to 100% green energy since they feel so strongly.


Peggy K...if you have two degrees in econ and finance, you need to sue the schools that gave them to you. Maybe, based in your "white" owned Las Vegas casino comment, you are just a racist. Hard for me to believe that anyone with even a basic understanding would make such an ignorant comment.

Do yoi think the Kienig brothers are going to drive their cars to the Ho Chunk owned gas stations and protest energy exploration? How many solar panels do you have in top of your casinos? We all know the answer to that. Hypocrites.

Peggy K



Check mate


I hope those gathered at Standing Rock and all points of resistance along this pipeline are victorious. Every river this pipeline company comes to they will bore under it including the Mississippi at Keokuk which happens to be a major seismic zone of the New Madrid fault. What could possibly go wrong? Pipelines leak all the time: The Yellowstone River, the Kalamazoo, ETC. And this is not for USA energy independence. No they will export much of this to foreign countries. And pipelines aren't being built so that we can mothball the exploding oil trains. No, they are being built so that we can transport even more oil. Let's end our addiction to fossil fuels.


if the british had gained control of the Americas...now that would have been some oppression.


thank you dopey.


This is a good old fashioned Jesse Jackson style shakedown...

Condor Kid

Check out CCAP?


I see Miles Koenig is pretty popular on CCAP... I am not surprised, typical liberal.


Dopey gets more dopey every day. Unbelievable!


Really? What if I told you that the pipeline is not on the reservation, and like all Western Indian Reservations, the Standing Rock Sioux have no problem with energy production that occurs on their own reservation!! They apparently just don't like competition.

The facts are rarely on a brain dead liberals side, so accusations of racism is standard operating practice. Isn't it funny that you liberals never complain when Indian Casino's are draining the retirement funds of many of the people who can least afford it. I am not sure if you have ever been on an Indian Reservation out west, but if you have, I am sure you have seen first hand the piles of empty beer and booze bottles thrown on the side of remote gravel roads.

FYI, here is a little synopsis of the Standing Rock Sioux's energy production:


Peggy K

Did you read your link (above)? The data is from 1996, twenty years ago. In fact, the document states that 20 years ago "Standing Rock reservation area is underexplored with numerous exploration possibilities in biogenic gas and stratigraphic pinchout horizons. " Find another source to cite -- you seem to believe you have cornered the market on "facts" as you like to call them. Your racism probably grows out of a feeling that the economy has left you last in line, with everyone else being allowed to cut in line ahead of you. As for the casino comments, it's funny how Las Vegas was okay because they were white people running it and making money off retirees. Finally, the alcohol comments are pretty racist too -- are you from La Crosse? Have you been on 3rd street? It's pretty white and pretty littered with signs of alcohol consumption every Friday and Saturday night. Just the facts, man.


This is there most current publication. Nowhere does it say it was produced in 1996, just that the production listed is 1996. Has the tribe leased land for energy exploration? Yes.


You, like all liberals are challenged with econ and finance. Most Las Vegas casinos are publicly traded and owned by millions of Americans, regardless of race in their pension, retirement or personal accounts. How many casinos in Wisconsin are in existence for the sole benefit of just one race other than Indian casinos?

As far as alcohol, I was not addressing the alcohol problem, I was addressing the environmental problem of trash. I am not sure how much time you have spent driving around rural reservations, but if you do, you will see a level of trash (mainly beer cans) discarded along the roads the roads that you simply do not see in other rural areas.

As I said before, we are all equal, just some are more equal than others.

FYI, it is you liberals that whine about being left behind. I have no problem paying my healthcare, housing or families education bills.

Peggy K

Dopey, see page 7 of your link's report. Graph in upper left corner. Text in middle of page. 1996. Find another source -- prove your stance.

Peggy K

Louisiana has a 44% poverty rate. That almost defines "left behind." The South sustained heavy job losses as a result of the 1980s trickle down economic policies, hostile corporate takeovers, and the Clinton's NAFTA agreement outsourcing industries overseas. I don't whine about those left behind -- I have empathy for them and want to see changes which help my fellow citizens. I want to pay it forward. I also am able to pay my bills but I know I didn't get to that point on my own. I got a great public education. My father's union made sure I had health care growing up. College was more affordable for me back in the 1980s because corporations paid taxes instead of shipping profits offshore.


19.8% in Louisiana, virtually all democrats.


Peggy K

Dopey, I was wrong. The 1996 data is the only data in that link/report that refers to the drilling; but every other reference predates that -- 1987, 1991, 1993, etc. It's much more dated info than I had noticed. Thanks. Try finding a legit source reference to make a point.

Peggy K

Dopey, you say you are referring to litter on the reservation? Baloney. I have 2 acres of road frontage in a rural community and there is litter to pick up every day of the week -- usually teenagers throwing out their empties before heading home. Your mentioning it as being unique to reservations is disgusting. When I've traveled out west what I've seen is abiding poverty, similar to poverty everywhere. People working 2 to 3 jobs with no time or energy to tidy up their yards and homes.


Isn't it wonderful that the color of your skin determines if you get $100,000+ when you turn 18, and income for life? Yep, we are all equal, it's just that some are more equal than others.



no dopey, the color of your skin doesn't determine what you get from your native American tribe, its your heritage, your ancestry. If your ancestors were driven off their native land and their way of life threatened, and if they were massacred and lied to by various treaties with the government then you get your compensation. Your skin color has nothing to do with it.


So, what your saying is that as long as you are a certain race, you get paid. How many more years does this preferential treatment last?

So does everyone who is harmed ny a government supported immigration get cash for life still?


no I said it depends on your heritage, ancestry. Boy are you stupid. If you are legally wronged by the gov't go ahead and sue them.


King....what determines a persons race? Their ancestors do.


Let the racist, anti-environment hate fest begin!


It did at precisely 7:14pm, Cassandra.


Typical of Cassandra and Homey...Dopey provides facts in response to an insult and they respond by calling him a racist...don't let the facts get in your way you libs, just keep up the insults.


Btw...can you imagine if every white person was given $110,000 on their 18th birthday and income for life from the gambling profits made largely off low income senior citizens?

Peggy K

But Dopey doesn't have the facts. His link provided data from 20 years ago, and his link stated that the reservation's drilling was undeveloped. Did you read his "facts" or do you just not care if his info is accurate? His link was the first thing that popped up on his Google search.


Peggy...indianaffairs.gov. The official gov website has the data.

Peggy K

Dopey, see page 7 of your link's report for the info citing 1996. By the way, I'm liberal and I have 2 degrees in business and finance from a top 10 college. I guess that theory of yours about liberals not understanding econ and finance is wrong.

Peggy K

WPR had an interesting show yesterday. Someone wrote a book about her experience investigating Louisiana voter attitudes toward the environment, racism, immigration, unemployment, welfare, etc. A lot of Dopey's comments appear to grow out of a feeling of having been waiting in line for economic good times and watching other groups being allowed to cut in line ahead of them even though they pay their taxes. So immigrants are getting help from the govt, minorities are getting help, and so on, while they watch. So they don't trust the government, and they vote for candidates who are supposedly anti big government. They oppose all spending on social programs because they've been waiting in line waiting for the government to see them, while others get that attention. This could revolutionize how we deal reach those people who you and I have called haters and racists and trolls. I'll try to find a link.


Peggy...trust me, I don't have to wait in line for the good times.

Just admit it. You think certain races are entitled to receive special treatment. It's you liberals who rarely have the capacity to take care of yourselves that wants the government to tax the rest of us to support you deadbeats. Conservatives don't want special treatment based on race, so by definition, it is you liberals who are racist.

Peggy K

Here's the link: http://www.wpr.org/liberal-sociologist-spends-years-tea-party-stronghold-better-understand-political-divide


Seriously Peg, you have a college degree? That article on Louisiana is a joke. Here is one that actually has FACTS. 13% of Louisiana's voters live in precincts that voted 90%+ Democrat in the last election and they committed 56% of the murders, a rate that is 33.4 per 100,000. A murder rate higher than most war torn countries.


Peggy K

"You're waiting in line, as in a pilgrimage, sort of leading up to a point at the top of the hill where you can find the American dream. And you feel very deserving. You have worked your butt off. And you're waiting in line for this American dream, and you notice suddenly that somebody is butting in front.

Who is that?

Well, it's an affirmative-action black who is getting access to jobs previously denied to blacks. Or a woman, a career-minded woman, who is trying to get access to a job that was formerly reserved for men. And then migrants and immigrants and refugees. All these people seem to be getting ahead of you in line.

The line is now moving backwards.

And then you see someone to the side of it. That would be (president) Barack Obama, who seems to be waving to the people cutting in line in cahoots with him.

Then you feel like the government isn't helping me, it's helping them.

And then finally you see somebody ahead of you in line who is turning around saying, 'Oh, you white cracker, you redneck, you uneducated ignorant southerner.' And they feel insulted for all the pain of first trying to move forward in line, and then being pushed back."


It's always about race to liberals. They cannot compete so they need special rules that favor them. No matter how much is spent on social programs, liberals still end up poor because they are lazy and no government program is going to cure that.


I hope you can make a difference. We should all be proud of you. White America has far too long oppressed Native Americans - all for their personal enrichment. We forced them onto lands permanently that were the poorest quality. Indians moved around to take advantage of the weather, growing conditions, availability of wildlife, and setting up villages in areas that provided access to water and protection from wind. The Native Americans believed that EVERYONE OWNED THE LAND and SHARED according to need. We should be ashamed of our treatment of the Native Americans.


Are you anti immigration? Isn't that racist? Lefties love to remind those that display the Confederate flag, that the south lost. Do you have a double standard?


what the heck does your rants and ravings have anything to do with the article in the tribune. Your hate filled know it all ego smearing the pages of these discussion boards is revealing. If you really want someone or something to hate look in the mirror. A young man is putting himself out there for a cause he believes in, while you hide like a coward behind a dopey name and carry on like a lunatic.


King if he truly believes, why not address the issue in his own neighborhood first? As the most prominent member of the HoChunk nation, why isn't he protesting the gas stations they own? Don't you think that at some point, that oil is crossing water ways? What about the massive carbon footprint of the multiple casinos?

Liberals are all racists and hypocrites. Only Black Lives Matter, only Red Lives get paid and only white lives should pay the tax man.


Frangelstein....you really need to brush up on your history, especially as it relates to Native Americans (I, like Lizzy Warren, self identify as one, so I know). There were all kinds of battles, they did worse than water boarding, they took slaves etc...


oh dopey, generalizing saying liberals are all .... or black lives are all.... you spill your ignorance all over the board. You are so sure of your self fulfilled answers based on bigotry, falsehoods and stupidity. If a terrorists organization pollutes our drinking water we would bomb the heck out of them, but if a corporation threatens to do so people like you turn a blind eye. There is nothing wrong with wanting clean drinking water now or in the future. You need to see past your self serving interests and try to understand the real issues.

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