Former Native Boarding School Celebrates Annual Father’s Day Pow Wow
Lisa J. Ellwood
The Stewart Indian School is embracing its ‘living legacy’ with their Father’s Day Pow Wow which takes place this weekend June 16 through 18 on the grounds of their location as a former Native American residential boarding school.
Like Residential Schools in Canada, the Native American Boarding Schools Project in the U.S. was seen as an ideal solution to the “Indian Problem”. Implemented in 1887, these schools became infamous for the forced removal of tens of thousands Native children from their families and communities with the ultimate goal of assimilation via the imposition of Euro-American standards.
Native names, languages, and spiritual practices were forbidden and abuses of all kinds were widespread in these Christian and government-run institutions. It was important to “kill the Indian and save the man”, according to Richard Henry Pratt who pointedly said “all the Indian there is in the race should be dead.”
The Stewart Indian School (alternatively known as Stewart Institute, Carson Industrial School, and Carson Indian School) was one such institution. The school opened on December 17, 1890 with 37 students from local Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes and “fulfilled a federal commitment to pursue Native American education in Nevada for ninety years”. The school eventually “accepted” children from tribal nations throughout the West. In a May 2008 interview with NPR, former Stewart student Bill Wright was reported to still suffer from nightmares of the severe discipline he endured.
Located three miles Southeast of Carson City, Stewart served as the only off-reservation Indian boarding school in Nevada through 1980. The Stewart “campus” was acquired by the State in the 1990s and uses it for training and agency offices including the Department of Corrections and the Nevada Indian Commission located in the former school Superintendent’s home.
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California established the Stewart Community in 1890 and today it encompasses much of the the school’s former 240 acres of land where the community also utilize some of the 63 buildings.
The Stewart Indian School has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985. School “Memorabilia” is on display as part of the Nevada State Museum’s award-winning Under One Sky exhibit which has been running since 2002.
The public is invited to attend the annual Stewart Father’s Day Pow Wow which takes place June 16 through 18 in the grounds of the former school. Gridley Hilpert is MC and the arena director is Sam Johnson. Host drum is Blood River Singers and head man and lady dancers are David and Julie Johnson with William Koipa and Precious Masters as head teen boy and girl respectively. Admission to the Father’s Day Pow Wow is free.
2016 Stewart Father’s Day Pow Wow – opening ceremony
Here is a select list of pow wows and Father’s Day Pow Wow’s happening across Turtle Island June 16th through 18th:
Waa Wiye Gaa Maag (Round Lake) 13th Annual Traditional Pow Wow, June 16-18
28 mi. N of Deer River MN 56681 on Highway 46
Squaw Lake, MN 56681
For more information visit the Waa Wiye Gaa Maag Pow Wow website or Facebook page.
Great Lakes Area 41st Annual Traditional Pow Wow, June 16-18
Woodland Valley Gathering Grounds
N15760 Hannahville B-1 Road
Wilson, MI 49896
For more information visit the Hannahville Indian Community website or Facebook Page.
Mount Airy Veterans 4th Annual Pow Wow, June 16-18
691 West Lebanon Street
Mount Airy, NC 27030
For more information visit the Mount Airy Veterans Pow Wow web listing or Facebook event page.
City of Roses 47th Annual Delta Park Pow Wow and Encampment, June 16-18
East Delta Park
10737 North Union Court, I-5 Exits 306 & 307
Portland, OR 97217
For more information visit the Delta Park Pow Wow web listing or Facebook page.
Honoring Our Ancestors 13th Annual Pow Wow, June 16-18
Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club
4026 US Hwy 322
Williamsfield, OH 44093
For more information visit the United Eastern Lenape Nation website.
Mattaponi 22nd Annual Pow Wow, June 17
Mattaponi Indian Reservation
1314 Mattaponi Reservation Circle
King William, VA 23181
For more information visit the Mattaponi website and Pow Wow Facebook event page.
Plains Indian Museum Pow Wow, June 17-18
Buffalo Bill Center of the West – Robbie Powwow Garden
720 Sheridan Avenue
Cody, WY 82414
For more information visit the Center of the West website or Facebook page.
Hidden Valley 5th Annual Sobriety Pow Wow, June 17-18
HIdden Valley RV & Golf Park, safari area 1
81 Damren Road
Derry, NH 03038
For more information visit the HIdden Valley RV & Golf Park i website.
Red Road 15th Annual Sobriety Pow Wow, June 17-18
979 Somerset Ave
Dighton, MA 02764
For more information phone 508-493-5520.
Raritan Native American Heritage Pow Wow, June 17-18
Middlesex County Fairgrounds
655 Cranbury Rd,
East Brunswick, NJ 11234
For more information visit the Redhawk Native American Arts Council website or Facebook page.
Imperial Beach 13th Annual Pow Wow by the Sea, June 17-18
Imperial Beach Pier
Seacoast Drive & Evergreen
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
For more information visit the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association website or Imperial Beach City Hall Facebook page.
Honoring Saganing Traditional Pow Wow, June 17-18
Pow Wow Grounds (next to the Standing Eagles Casino & Saganing Tribal Center)
2750 Worth Road
Standish, MI 48658
For more information visit the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe website.
Circle The Bluffs Pow Wow, June 17-18
Legacy of the Plains Museum
2930 Old Oregon Trail
Gering, NE 69341
For more information visit the Legacy of the Plains Museum website or Circle The Bluffs Pow Wow Facebook page.
Check out our Pow Wow listings here (updates ongoing).
Attention Pow Wow organizers:
You can also update your information on our pow wow email list.
By adding your email, you’ll enable us to contact you on select pow wow updates & announcements.
We will only send a few emails each year, and it will only be used by our internal pow wow team.
Add your email for the pow wow email list here: http://eepurl.com/bOY8ir