Stewart Indian School
Cultural Center Honoring High Sierra Indigenous Peoples
This is a logo concept for the state of Nevada Indian Commission’s new cultural center and museum. The center is located on the grounds of the former Stewart Indian School, a federally run boarding school for indigenous children. The spot has a tragic history of forcing children into the school, abusing them and stripping them of their culture. These schools were located throughout the US and although they evolved to become actual centers of learning in the mid 20th century, by the 1980s all were shut down. The land and buildings have now been repurposed as a space to celebrate indigenous culture and acknowledge the devastating impact of the school.
It was such an honor to play a small role in the creation of this space. The work itself was complicated to pull off. Creating a logo that was somber and celebratory was a challenge. The organization wanted the landscape incorporated into the design. I had been told that parents who weren’t allowed to see their children would camp out of the banks of the creek located near the school to at least catch a glimpse of their child. Sometimes I’m at a loss talking about this. I’m a white person trying to access the heartbreak of what native people went through in this place. I remind myself of what it means now and how it is being actively transformed by the local tribes of NV.