Stewart Father’s Day Pow Wow canceled due to COVID-19

The 2019 Stewart Father’s Day Pow Wow.

The 2019 Stewart Father’s Day Pow Wow.

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The Nevada Indian Commission will cancel the 2021 Stewart Father’s Day Pow Wow, according to a news release.
“Even though our medical experts and the scientists indicate that the current health crisis seems to be lessening, out of an abundance of caution, specifically for the safety of our elders, we again will cancel our annual pow wow,” Stacey Montooth, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission, said in the release. “We arrived at this consensus decision with input from our elders, commissioners, committee members and our staff.”
Since Father’s Day 2003, thousands of people have attended the pow wow at the former Stewart Indian School, which features hundreds of colorfully dressed dancers, drum groups and spiritual singers, along with arts, crafts, and food vendors. The three-day event can bring over 3,000 spectators to the campus.
However, American Indians have experienced disproportionate rates of infection and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the APM Research Lab funded by Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, nationwide one in every 475 Native Americans has died from COVID since March 2020.
To date, Nevada has administered nearly 3 million tests, and currently most of the Tribal health clinics are offering vaccinations for all community members regardless of age or underlying health conditions, as exposure to the virus is especially severe for Native Americans.
“During these still anxious months, we cannot risk the well-being of our dancers, singers, any participant or spectator,” Montooth said. “However, with strong resolve, the Nevada Indian Commission looks forward to orchestrating the biggest, best pow wow at our campus in 2022.”
Visitors are welcome at the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum in Carson City. With state-recommended health and safety guides in place, the museum will continue to provide first-hand accounts of the Native American alumni and students, and how the federal policy of forced assimilation still reverberates in Native communities.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, “Our Home, Our Relations,” the Cultural Center & Museum features the Wa-Pai-Shone Gallery, displaying art of the Great Basin Native Artists; the Storytelling Room for storytelling and craft making; a research room where relatives can research their family members who attended Stewart; and classroom space for educational activities, lectures, and public programs.
Visitors can experience the Stewart campus by cellphone audio tour. This walking tour allows guests to view the spectacular physical site and to learn from alumni about their experience at the boarding school. These authentic accounts are also available on-line at:
For information, contact Montooth at 775-687-8333 or e-mail at


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