CASA Apron/Birdhouse Sale continues Saturday at Tribal Museum

Kathryn SwanJ-C Correspondent
CASA Apron/Birdhouse Sale continues Saturday at Tribal Museum

Osage and Pawnee County artists rallied in forces for the annual CASA Birdhouse Auction on Sunday night. In spite of less than perfect weather, a spirited crowd bid on birdhouses that clearly touched on Native American traditions and culture. The uniqueness of each treasure reflected the time and creativity the artists devoted to their individual pieces.

“The response from these artists was overwhelming,” said Helen Norris, Pawnee/Osage CASA Director. “Because of the generosity of Osage and Pawnee County artists, the CASA Auction will continue 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Osage Tribal Museum. Museum Curator Kathryn Redcorn will serve breakfast while bidders view the incredible array of hand-crafted art.”

This year, decorative aprons were added to the mix. Pawnee/Osage County CASA Advocate Coordinator, Nicki Lorenzo noted, “Each original is signed by the artist and is a true work of art.”

Auctioneer Jim Taylor, accompanied by wife Debbie, heightened the bidding process with interesting tidbits about each artist and the significance of their art to Native American culture.

Assisting Norris were Lorenzo and Terry Mason Moore, Pawnee/Osage CASA Advisory Board Chair, Osage Princess Katelynn Pipestem, Marissa Pratt, Erica Moore, along with numerous other volunteers. Journal-Capital Photographer Jack Buzbee was unable to attend but provided a DVD of last year’s event which beautifully portrayed the uniqueness of each birdhouse.

Artists contributing this year included Joe Don Brave, Frank Lorenzo, Jason Buffalohead, Cha Tullis, Kathryn Redcorn, Jacqueline Boulanger, Gina Gray, Danette Daniels, David Kanuho, Jerod Buffalohead, Wendy Ponca, Heather Cheves, Mary Jo Mercer, Shannon Shaw Duty, Dr. Bob Chesbro, Ted Moore and Ruth Shaw.

Norris explained that proceeds from the auction help the CASA program recruit and train community volunteers to speak for abused and neglected children in the courts.

Since its inception in 2009, the CASA program has been serving at-risk children in Osage County and the Osage Tribal Court. The Pawnee/Osage CASA program is one of 946 community programs where volunteers are assigned to abused and neglected children, monitoring their living situation, school activity, general well-being and reporting directly to the judge handling each child’s case. The Pawnee/Osage CASA office is one of four CASA offices in the United States to cross-train volunteers for both tribal and state cases.

According to Norris, 60 percent of cases heard in Osage County court involve Osages. To prepare for state and tribal cases, CASA volunteers complete 30 hours of required training and an addition ten hours of training on Osage and Pawnee history and cultural customs.

For more information about the birdhouse auction, or to become a CASA volunteer, call 918-287-4120 or 918-762-3776.