Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and MuseumThe vision becomes reality!
2018 Marks Another Year of Progress
Blessing Ceremony 9:30 am July 11, 2018
Thanks to Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature, we have received state funding to renovate the former Stewart Administration Building into the new Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. We will be thanking Governor Sandoval and the legislature and honoring Stewart Alumni at a Blessing Ceremony at the site at 9:30 am on July 11, 2018. Spiritual leaders from the Paiute, Washoe, and Shoshone tribal nations will bless the site before renovation begins on the building. Please join us as we begin our renovation project by honoring all of the students who attended Stewart Indian School and helping Native families to heal from the boarding school assimilation policy.
History of Stewart Exhibit
Museum staff are developing a History of Stewart exhibit with Gallagher & Associates, a nationally known exhibit design company in Washington, DC, and consultants Samantha Williams, PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz, who is conducting research, and Nevada artists Melissa Melero-Moose and Ben Aleck, whose relatives attended Stewart. We also are guided by the Stewart Cultural Advisory Committee composed of Stewart alumni and relatives of alumni. The exhibit will open with the grand opening of our new museum in spring 2019.
Museum Plan of Operations
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 approved 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.
Volunteers are Welcome
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 application form and let us know what you enjoy doing and we will match you with our needs. To Download Volunteer Application Click Here.
Stewart will be part of Heard Museum Boarding School Exhibit
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 renovating the former Bakery/Second Post Office building at Stewart to house our collection storage. This will help us provide environmentally controlled storage for our Stewart collections that meet museum professional standards. Watch for more news on our progress. To download the Patron/Research Request Registration Form Click Here.
Stewart Cultural Center and Museum on a Holiday Ornament
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.
Identifying the beautiful stonework in Stewart buildings
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, Matt, 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 the Larkin family 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.
Cultural Center Staff
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 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.