SkillSource serves the North Central Workforce Development Area, one of the largest geographic workforce areas in the state (14,612 square miles). Okanogan County sits majestically at the very uppermost part of this region, and nestled in the foothills just outside of Omak within the boundaries of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is Paschal Sherman Indian School, host of the annual Sunflower Festival.

A uniquely shaped school constructed of brown timber and many windows sits in the background with a festival on the lawn in front.

Paschal Sherman Indian School (PSIS) is a tribally controlled school that serves approximately 150 students from local and neighboring tribes of the Northwest with integrated programs for tribal language and culture. The mission statement of Paschal Sherman Indian School is: To prepare our children to be speakers of our language, guardians of our culture, and leaders of our future. 

The Sunflower Festival is an annual celebration of culture and community. This year the Sunflower Festival was on Friday, May 24th. It was a perfectly beautiful day for the Sunflower Festival, and hundreds of families spanning multiple generations came out to gather, play, dance, and celebrate. Elders were honored throughout the festival with dedicated areas for parking, seating, viewing, and engaging with the festivities.

The festival included a three-on-three basketball tournament, a Sun Run, a Pow Wow, field games, a book fair, and a feast. Local artisans and community agencies were present with resources for individual and family wellness, skills training, cultural programs, and early and ongoing education. It was a culturally rich day with the smells of good food in the air, music and drumming, and connection.

SkillSource was honored to be a contributing sponsor for this year’s Sunflower Festival. Learn more about how SkillSource is funded.