GREAT FALLS - "It's about moving forward,” Paris Gibson Education Center student Lacee Kuki-Isakson said of the bison skull she and fellow student Passion Longee recently decorated.
The skull will be auctioned off during the Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home’s fundraising auction on March 4.
For Lacee and Passion, the bison skull represents a journey — a journey they wrote about in an essay accompanying the skull.
"It makes both of us girls feel great,” Lacee said.
Lacee lives at the Great Falls Children's Receiving Home, which provides a temporary place to stay for kids who have been removed from their original homes.
"I have been there for almost two years,” said Lacee.
Passion didn't want to be interviewed, but Lacee said she and Passion spent about 80 hours painting the skull and decorating it with leather, beads, and feathers.
"The horn wraps is the biggest process,” Lacee explained. "The beadwork and the painting kind of go together with what we tried to do. The medicine feathers show that everything can heal and the group home provides a lot of these children healing and help with processing."
"You know, we were surprised,” Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home staff manager Caitlyn Korin said when asked about her reaction to learning the girls wanted to donate the skull.
Korin said while surprised, she was also excited and proud of the girls, "this is going to be a huge help to us and a huge help to the kiddos that we serve."
The message she hopes this sends?
"Just how much our organization is needed. We do provide more than just a bed and more than just food and clothes. We provide stability, we provide love, we provide a family,” Korin said.
"To provide for them so that they can keep going it gives us a lot of strength in ourselves, a lot of happiness,” Lacee said.