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.
The Nevada Indian Commission is currently involved in the following campus related projects:
- The new roof on the old gym is complete! The next step is to request renovation funds to renovate the building and plan for future programming.
- The Nevada Indian Commission received a Commission for Cultural Centers and Historic Preservation grant in 2019 to contract with H+K Architects out of Reno to provide programming and conceptual design services for renovating the Stewart auditorium. When the grant is completed, the project will provide the basis for seeking additional funding to conduct the renovation work.
- The 2019 Nevada Legislature and Governor Sisolak approved $900,000 to renovate the former Bakery/Post Office building. This project will be overseen by Nevada State Public Works Division. When completed in 2021, this space will provide museum best practices standards for environmental controls and moveable storage shelves for the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum’s collections of artifacts, archival materials, and furnishings.
- The Nevada Indian Commission contracted with Dr. Greg Smoak and the America West Center at the University of Utah to conduct research and fill out the application to include Stewart Indian School campus as a National Historic Landmark. The application is completed and submitted to the National Park Service for approval.
Capital Improvement Projects for Stewart Indian School
Museum staff worked with the State Public Works staff to create three CIP proposals for consideration by the Nevada Legislature in the upcoming session.
- $1,410,182.00 – Renovating the former bakery building/post office to provide environmentally controlled storage for Stewart’s artifact collections currently housed at the Nevada State Museum’s Curatorial Center. Once we have renovated this building, we will be able to apply to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be a repository for the Stewart collections and move them back to the Stewart campus. The 2019 Nevada Legislature approved $998,000 to renovate the bakery building. However, when the pandemic hit, Governor Sisolak took those funds away from us. We are asking the Legislature to reinstate that funding.
- $1,608,536.00 to renovate the Stewart auditorium. The scope of this project is to complete the design documents and construction. Built in 1925, the historic structure has been identified in both the Stewart Indian School Landscape Preservation Plan and the Stewart Master Plan as a significant building to telling the history of the campus and is listed as a priority for rehabilitation.
- $17,236,428.00 to renovate the old gym. This project will complete the seismic stabilization and rehabilitation of the old gym. The gym was built 1938 and has been identified by the Stewart Master Plan as an integral part of telling the story of the Stewart Indian School athletic program.