National Park Service Grants $1.3 Million to Preserve and Interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced more than $1.3 million in grants to help preserve and interpret the sites where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans – two-thirds of them U.S. citizens – were imprisoned during World War II.

Concentration Camp“Our national parks tell the stories not only of American success, but of our failures such as the dark history of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II,” Jarvis said. “We make these grants so that present and future generations are reminded what happened and how the people survived these camps. And we make these grants to demonstrate our nation’s commitment to the concept of ‘equal justice under law’ that grew out of these and other civil rights experiences.”

The 14 grant projects include:

  • Creation of a memorial to honor Japanese Americans forcibly removed from Juneau, Alaska and sent to the Camp Lordsburg Internment Camp in New Mexico and later to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho
  • Installation of exhibits at the San Bruno Bay Area Rapid Transit station featuring photographs by Dorothea Lange and Paul Kitagaki telling the story of forced relocation of California Bay Area Japanese Americans
  • A plan for acquisition and preservation of an abandoned root cellar, one of the few remaining original structures at the former Heart Mountain site internment site in Wyoming
  • A kiosk in a Chandler, Arizona park that focuses on daily life and the importance of baseball at the Gila River Internment Camp
  • An exhibit at the Los Angeles Go For Broke National Education Center, “Divergent Paths to a Convergent America: A 360 Degree Perspective of the Japanese American Response to WWII”
  • Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, “Exploring Honouliuli: A Multimedia and Virtual Tour” Honouliuli Internment Camp, Honolulu County, Hawaii

The Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program supports projects in seven states. Today’s grants bring grant totals to $12 million of the $38 million Congress authorized when it established the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program in 2006.

Grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program may go to the 10 War Relocation Authority camps established in 1942 or to more than 40 other sites, including assembly, relocation, and isolation centers. The goal of the program is to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement and inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law. These are competitive grants with required matches – a dollar of non-federal funds or $2 in-kind contributions for every grant dollar.

A full list of the funded projects follows. For more details about these projects, visit: http://www.nps.gov/hps/hpg/JACS/.

For further information: Kara Miyagishima, Program Manager for the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, 303-969-2885 or kara_miyagishima@nps.gov

  • City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska. “Empty Chair Project”, Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho and Camp Lordsburg, Hidalgo County, N.M.  $80,000.00
  • City of Chandler, Chandler, Ariz., “Nozomi Park History Kiosk”, Gila River Relocation Center, Pinal County, Ariz., $9,380.00
  • The Regents of the University of California (UC-Berkeley, History Department), Berkeley, Calif., “Japanese American Confinement in the Records of the Federal Reserve Bank”,  Multiple Sites, $18,488.00
  • Contra Costa Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, Contra Costa, Calif., “They Wore Their Best: Photographic Exhibit of the Works of Dorothea Lange and Paul Kitagaki” Tanforan Assembly Center, San Mateo County, Calif.  and 10 WRA Sites, $67,537.00
  • UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Los Angeles, Calif., “Aiko and Jack Herzig Archival Collection Project” Multiple Sites, $154,960.00
  • Japanese American Citizens League, San Francisco, Calif., “JACL Teacher Training: Incarceration and Confinement Sites”, Multiple Sites, $62,845.00
  • National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco, Calif., “Camp Collection: A Digital Library”, Multiple Sites, $33,467.00
  • Go For Broke National Education Center, Torrance, Calif., “Divergent Paths to a Convergent America: A 360 Degree Perspective of the Japanese American Response to WWII Incarceration”, Multiple Sites, $369,765.00
  • Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, “Exploring Honouliuli: A Multimedia and Virtual Tour”, Honouliuli Internment Camp, Honolulu County, Hawaii, $111,557.00
  • Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, Portland, Ore., “Farm Security Administration Documentation of Agricultural Labor Internment Camps in the Pacific Northwest”, Multiple Sites: Nyssa, Malheur County, Ore.; Rupert, Minidoka County, Idaho; Shelley, Bingham County, Idaho; Twin Falls, Twin Falls County, Idaho $92,386.00
  • Nikkei Heritage Association of Washington (Japanese Cultural Center of Washington), Seattle, Wash., “Unsettled-Resettled: Seattle’s “Hunt Hotel””, Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho, $102,810.00
  • Wing Luke Memorial Foundation (Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience), Seattle, Wash., “Inspiring Future Generations: Journeying from Confinement Sites to Battlefields with Japanese American Soldiers”, Multiple Sites,$111,600.00
  • Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, Powell, Wyo., “Heart Mountain Archives Project”, Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County, Wyo., $97,279.00
  • Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, Powell, Wyo., “Heart Mountain Root Cellar Planning and Preservation Project”, Heart Mountain, Relocation Center, Park County, Wyo., $33,621.00

Total $1,345,695.00