Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum

The vision becomes reality!

2018 Marks Another Year of Progress

Thanks to Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature, we have approved state funding to produce a new permanent exhibit about the history of Stewart Indian School. With Capital Improvement Project Funding, the State Public Works Division has contracted with Gallagher & Associates, a nationally known exhibit design company in Washington, DC, to assist our staff in the exhibit design. Assisting these designers will be consultants Samantha Williams, PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz, who is conducting research, and local artists Melissa Melero and Ben Aleck, whose relatives attended Stewart. We also will be guided by the Stewart Cultural Advisory Committee composed of Stewart alumni and relatives of alumni. Our first workshop is April 9, 2018 from 11-5, at the Nevada Indian Commission Conference Room, in Carson City.

We will have a booth at the Stewart Father’s Day Powwow the weekend of June 15-17, 2018, to share the first draft of the exhibit design, as well as display what we are planning with the new museum and sign up people who want to volunteer.
Museum staff are putting together a Plan of Operations for how the museum will function, which includes a mission/vision statement, institutional code of ethics, and forms, policies, and procedures. This Plan of Operations is being vetted by the Nevada Indian Commission board members, as well as the members of the Stewart Cultural Advisory Committee. These are living documents that will change as the museum grows.
We welcome volunteers who would like to help us with giving tours, data entry of Stewart artifacts, documents, and photographs into a database, and preserving the collections. Please fill out the online application form and let us know what you enjoy doing and we will match you with our needs.
We recently witnessed an exciting event—opening the basement vault in the old Administration building that had been locked since the school closed in 1980. Watch the video here.
We are excited to announce that the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, is including Stewart Indian School in their revised “Remembering Our Indian School Days Exhibit.” We are providing some Stewart materials for this exhibit and will let you know when the grand opening will be.
Chris Ann Gibbons, curator, is organizing and accessioning the Stewart collections into a database. She is accepting new donations of Stewart materials and answering research requests. She also is preserving the artifacts, documents, and photographs. We are in the process of digitizing some of the Stewart yearbooks and will be uploading the digital form onto our website this summer. We hope to digitize all of the yearbooks within the coming year and make them available to people to either download from the website or we will make copies for the cost of the printing and postage. We will announce here when they are ready.
The likeness of the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum building is being made into a holiday ornament by Carson City and will be available for purchase in 2019. We will post pictures when the ornament is produced and ready for purchase.
We would like to thank geologists Dennis Bryan, Jonathan Price, Mark Svoboda, Hamilton Reed, and Richard Lippoth for visiting Stewart Indian School and helping us to learn about the different types of rocks in the beautiful stone buildings on campus. We will be working with these geologists in the coming year to develop lectures and educational activities centered on the rocks of Nevada.
We would like to send a special thank you to Paul and Jeremy Larkin of Keystone Masonry for their offer to help the architects who are designing the renovation of our building. The architectural plan is to restore the porch and stone pillars that used to be on the building, and Paul and Jeremy will be very helpful with restoring those stone pillars with rocks from their family quarry. They are related to the Wungnema family who were among the Hopi stonemasons who helped to build the stone buildings at Stewart and in the Carson City region.

For a complete list of  Stewart Indian School resourcesCLICK HERE


To download the Stewart Indian School Oral History Booklet CLICK HERE


To view our historic photography library CLICK HERE

Stewart Indian School Historic Photo


To view our more photography on our Flickr page,  CLICK HERE

Cultural Center Staff


Bobbi Rahder
Museum Director



I’m so honored to be the museum director for the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. I came to Nevada for the first time in May 2017 to accept this position. I’m very fortunate to build on the foundation of research and funding support of the Stewart Indian School that Sherry L. Rupert, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, and Chris Ann Gibbons, curator, have established. I previously worked at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS, which used to be a government boarding school for Native children like Stewart. At Haskell, I helped to design and operate the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum. I’ve also worked as a museum professional in other museums and have curated many exhibitions and educational programs using museum collections. There are many unique things about the Stewart Indian School that I am excited to share through our new museum and an exhibition illustrating the stories of Stewart alumni and the changes at Stewart over its 90 year history. The cultural center is a part of the Stewart Indian School Living Legacy and Master Plan that honors the students from Stewart and interprets the 110-acre campus as a former government boarding school that has evolved into a cultural heritage destination.



Chris Ann Gibbons




Chris Ann Gibbons began with the Nevada Indian Commission in 2005 and is currently the Curator for the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. As Curator, Chris primarily works on organizing and preserving the archival documents, photographs, and artifacts that tell Stewart’s history and feels very fortunate to be part of the team responsible for opening the Cultural Center and Museum. Chris is a graduate of Southern Oregon University with a degree in History and minors in both Native American Studies and Art History. Currently, she is working on obtaining a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Before coming to the Commission, Chris worked in educational outreach and programming for the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

Stewart Indian School Photography Gallery

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