Colville tribal elder Wendell George addresses those gathered to see Wenatchee Valley College unveil the new name of their Omak campus building, Wednesday. George, a former Colville Business Council member, served on the WVC Board of Directors from 1992 to 2003.

WVC names Omak campus building Wendell George Hall

OMAK - When Sister Maria Ilma Raufer was writing her book, ‘Black Robes and Indians,’ Wendell George’s grandmother said about the Catholic mission school: “No school. No good.” 

George retold that story, Oct. 23, at an event in which Wenatchee Valley College honored him by naming the Wendell George Hall on their Omak campus. 

“My grandmother talked about education in four words, ‘No school. No good,’” said George. “A lot of people have used a lot more words in order to say that. We’re following that motto that she created all those years ago.” 

Father Jake Morton provided a prayer to open the event, and George lead a traditional smudging. 

“This is an exciting moment,” said Shandy Abrahamson, WVC Tribal Liaison. “I am really proud of our college for taking the opportunity to recognize somebody who is a big influence in our community, not only our tribal community, but our community in general.” 

George served on the WVC Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2003 after being named to the board by Washington Gov. Gary Locke. 

“His resume speaks for itself,” said Colville Business Council member Rich Moses. “From here on out, for the remainder of his days, the remainder of my days, the remainder of his kids’ days, all this grandkids’, his name is going to be on this school. That is a deep, deep honor, Wendell. You represent us in a tremendous way that I can’t express. You paved the way for all of us Native Americans to be better people. You paved the way for our children. You’ve showed them what it takes to be a leader in this community.” 

George served on the tribal council from 1986 to 1989 and served on the board for the Paschal Sherman Indian School and Omak School District. Moses further stated George served a pivotal role in opening the Colville Tribes’ Paschal Sherman Indian School. 

George is also the author of four books. 

“For me, it is a great honor to honor this man for the support he has given, not only education, but this campus of this college,” said WVC President Jim Richardson, who noted when he applied for the president position at the college, George stressed the importance of the Omak campus. 

“WVC-Omak is a special place for our student body and our American Indian students,” Brittany Thomas, Vice President for the WVC Red Road Association, “Red Road Association is honored to create an inclusive and safe place where our students feel welcomed and included. We’re also proud of having this place named after a Colville tribal member who is an inspiration to our community.” 

The WVC Board of Trustees voted to dedicate the building in George’s honor during a meeting in Nespelem in April. 

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