Stewart Indian School Living LegacySaving the legacy of the Stewart Indian School as a tribute to Nevada history
The Stewart Indian School changed the course of generations of American Indians. For more than 90 years American Indian children were removed from their homelands, family and culture with profound impacts on their lives. The Stewart Indian School Living Legacy preserves their stories and cultural legacy – Never to be Forgotten.
The mission of the Stewart Indian School Living Legacy is to educate visitors about the experiences of American Indian children removed from their homelands, families and culture and celebrate their resilience through interpretation and revitalization of the Stewart campus.
Today, the campus is a 110-acre National Historic District that is home to over 65 historic buildings comprising the former Stewart Indian School and is owned by the State of Nevada. In 2009, the Stewart Indian School landscape preservation plan was developed and proposes a wide variety of campus landscape features, including selective building grounds reconstructions, pavement restoration and reconstruction, preservation of key landscape features, inclusion of landscape and campus interpretation, and restoring and reconstructing athletic fields. In 2015, the Nevada State Legislature passed a bill designating the State of Nevada Indian Commission as the coordinating agency for activities and uses of the buildings and grounds of the School.
In 2018, the Nevada Indian Commission developed a Master Plan for the Stewart Indian School campus. This plan provides a roadmap for restoration and creates a cultural destination for future generations that ensures this important part of the Native American history and experience in Nevada is preserved while developing an active and economically stable campus as a cultural heritage destination site.
State of Nevada and Nevada Indian Commission
- State of Nevada took over Stewart Indian School property in 1982
- Returned 130 acres to Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California
- Stewart currently has 110 acres with 65 stone buildings built by students
- Some buildings occupied by state agencies
- Nevada Indian Commission, founded in 1965, offices moved to former Stewart superintendent’s cottage in 2003
- Unique because of the stone buildings and Stewart is one of the few remaining intact boarding school campuses.
- 1985 listed on National Register of Historic Places
- 2019 applied for National Historic Landmark Status
- 2019 Nevada Indian Commission created Stewart Master Plan
- Renovating campus in phases to become self-sustaining
- June 4, 2021 Governor Steve Sisolak signed three bills at Stewart Indian School: waiving university fees for Native students; and banning discriminatory school mascots and sundown sirens
- December 3, 2021 Governor Steve Sisolak met with tribal leaders, Bureau of Indian Affairs officials, state agency heads, Nevada Indian Commission, and Stewart alumni; apologized for assimilation at Stewart and promised to cooperate with the Department of Interior’s initiative to document Stewart students.
- 2023 Nevada Legislative Session: requesting three Capital Improvement Projects to renovate Stewart bakery, auditorium, and old gym.