The Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum will reopen to the public on Monday July 20th, thanks to a generous donation from the family of a former Stewart Indian School principal. Opened in January and closed to the public in March because of the current health crisis, the Cultural Center & Museum is facing severe state budget cuts.
With this donation to support the museum’s operation, the staff can now reopen to the public on July 20th. The hours will be 10-5 pm, Monday through Friday, and closed on state and federal holidays.
“We are thrilled that the families of Albert Hawley and Martha Berger have chosen our museum for this gift,” said Museum Director Bobbi Rahder. Jan Leonard, granddaughter of Albert Hawley and niece of Martha Berger, presented the $50,000 cash donation to museum staff on Monday July 6th. In addition to the cash donation, the family will install a memorial bench at Stewart in honor of this family that has a long history at the school.
Albert Hawley, Gros Ventre and Assiniboine, worked at Stewart Indian School for a total of sixteen years as boy’s adviser, athletic director, reservation principal, and principal. Mr. Hawley attended Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS, in the 1920s, and played center on the football team from 1925-1927 and was elected team captain. He was a Naval Officer in the US Navy during World War II. He also earned a master’s degree at Stanford University. In 1966 Mr. Hawley was recognized by the Department of Interior with the Distinguished Service Award for his work in the Indian Service. Mr. Hawley was inducted into the American Indian Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Stewart Hall of Fame in 1974.
Martha Betty Berger, Jan Leonard’s aunt on her mother’s side, was a long-time resident of Carson City. She passed away in 2019 at the age of 100 after a lifetime of working in banking and for the State of Nevada, leaving a trust fund to benefit Carson City recipients. Jan Leonard and her family decided to honor her aunt through a donation to the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum.
The Cultural Center tells the stories and experiences of students who attended the Stewart Indian School from 1890-1980. Stewart Indian School was operated by the federal government for 90 years to forcefully educate Native American children. This assimilation policy impacted thousands of Native students not only from the Great Basin tribal nations, but over 200 tribes in the west.
For more information about the Cultural Center please contact Bobbi Rahder, Museum Director, at 775-687-7606 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.