Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and MuseumThe vision becomes reality!
History of Stewart Exhibit
Gallagher and Associates presented their 100% final exhibit designs to the Nevada Indian Commission staff on November 16th. From these final designs, a fabricating company will be hired to create and install the new exhibit when the museum renovations are completed. We expect this to happen in late summer or early fall of 2019. We will publicize when the exhibit is completed and we are ready for the Grand Opening of the completed museum and welcome center.
Construction continues to renovate the former agency or administration building at Stewart that will become the new Stewart Cultural Center and Museum. This renovation is expected to be completed by May 2019.
Join us in Honoring Stewart’s World War I Veterans
Stewart museum staff created a new exhibit that was displayed on November 10th at the Nevada State Museum as part of their exhibit “Remembering the Great War: One Hundred Years Later.” In addition, this exhibit was displayed at the Governor’s Tourism Summit honoring Governor Brian Sandoval in Reno, NV, on November 13th, and at the American Indian Achievement Awards Banquet on November 17th. Research revealed that 26 students from Stewart Indian School, earning them a blue star on the service flag made for our display by Stewart alumnus Angelea Kizer. One student, James Horton, Paiute, died from his war wounds upon returning home and earned a gold star. Over 13,000 American Indian soldiers served in the Great War and Native people contributed $15 million in Liberty Bonds when they were only a small proportion of the American population, and not yet citizens. Students from Stewart Indian School participated in WWI either as enlisted men, as volunteers, or as promoting saving a shovel full of goal for the war effort back home. To honor the service of Indian men during the war, Congress granted citizenship to all honorably discharged Indian veterans in 1919. In 1924, Congress passed the Snyder Act, granting citizenship to any American Indian not already designated a citizen.
Please click on the link here to view the photos and read our fact sheet about the 26 students from Stewart who served, as well as the contributions Native people made to the war effort.
Stewart Desert Braves Yearbooks Available on Website
Please click on the link here to view the Stewart Desert Braves that have been uploaded to this website. If you would like color photocopies, please contact us at our website and order a copy. These color photocopies are $10 apiece for the cost of printing in color. The yearbooks uploaded include the years: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980.
Learn about Stewart Rocks with a Fun Scavenger Hunt
We invite the public to learn about the beautiful rocks that were used to build over 60 buildings at the Stewart Indian School campus. Former state geologist Jonathan Price and Dennis Bryan created a scavenger hunt to learn about the rocks used in the Stewart buildings. The scavenger hunt is available now at the Science Education section of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology website at the University of Nevada, Reno: http://www.nbmg.unr.edu. This scavenger hunt is available in the reception area of the Nevada Indian Commission office. When our new museum opens in 2019 we will have additional versions of the scavenger hunt available for children. Thank you Jon and Dennis for this wonderful and educational activity.
Stewart History in New Heard Museum Exhibit Opening January 26, 2019
The Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, has revised their exhibit “Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences,” and this newly revised exhibit will open January 26, 2019. The exhibit will now include photographs and information about Stewart Indian School and the students from Arizona who went to school there. “Away from Home” examines an important and often unknown period of American history. Beginning in the 1870s, the US government aimed to assimilate American Indians into “civilized” society by placing them in government-operated boarding schools. Boarding schools were designed to change American Indians, and they had many long-lasting impacts, but American Indians also changed the schools.
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.
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.
For a complete list of Stewart Indian School resources, CLICK HERE
To download the Stewart Indian School Oral History Booklet CLICK HERE
To view our historic photography library CLICK HERE
To view our more photography on our Flickr page, CLICK HERE
To view our archive of Stewart Indian School Yearbooks, CLICK HERE
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.