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NPS Awards Over $3.1 Million in Grants to Preserve and Interpret WWII JA Confinement Sites

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Amache incarceration site in Colorado, Dec. 12, 1942. Colorado Preservation, Inc., will develop interpretive elements at the site to provide visitors with a better understanding of Japanese American incarceree living conditions during World War II. (Photo courtesy of Tom Parker, National Archives and Records Administration)

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is pleased to announce more than $3.1 million in Japanese American Confinement Sites grants that will fund preservation, restoration and education projects throughout the country.

The 22 projects funded will help tell the stories of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941.

“These grants help to preserve an important piece of our nation’s history, educating generations of visitors about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

“The National Park Service is dedicated to the preservation and protection of natural, cultural, and historical resources across the United States,” said David Vela, National Park Service deputy director. “Through these projects, we have the honor of educating our visitors about the strength and perseverance of the Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.”

“The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula does an incredible job of telling the story of our nation and Montana’s history,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). “I’m glad to have supported this project and look forward to seeing it complete.”

“Located in Granada, Colo., Amache serves as a stark reminder of a dark moment in our country’s history,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). “I’m grateful for the continued support from the National Park Service, and the Coloradans they partner with, which help ensure the site is preserved so we can remember the grave injustice committed against Japanese Americans during World War II and never repeat our mistakes from the past.”

“The internment of Japanese Americans was one of the most shameful times in American history. By funding preservation projects like these we can help ensure future generations will always remember in the hopes that we will never again treat Americans in this reprehensible way,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno).

Japanese American Confinement Sites grants may be awarded to projects associated with the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 and more than 40 additional confinement sites. The program’s mission is to teach future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans and to inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful project proposals are chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.

Over the past 11 years, the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program has supported a wide range of successful projects, including a memorial and exhibit to tell the lesser-known stories of Japanese Americans who were forced to leave their homes in Juneau and nearby Alaskan communities during the war; the restoration of headstones and monuments at the Rohwer cemetery in Arkansas; and the construction of visitors centers in Utah and Wyoming to tell the history of the Topaz and Heart Mountain incarceration sites and the larger, national story of Japanese American World War II incarceration.

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006, authorizing a total of $38 million in funding for the life of the program. The latest announcement brings the current award total to more than $32 million.

The 22 grant recipients in FY 2020 are listed below with grantee, project title, project site, and amount. For more details, visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/internment/index.htm.

• Alameda Free Library, California: The Impact of Japanese American Incarceration on Alameda, California — the First California Community Removed under Executive Order 9066; all War Relocation Authority sites; $139,220

• Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Vigilant Love), California: Solidarity Arts Fellowship; Manzanar Incarceration Site, Inyo County, California; $47,518

• Center for Independent Documentary, Massachusetts: Baseball Behind Barbed Wire; multiple sites; $208,945

• City of Richmond, California: Roses and Thorns: Sustaining Stories of Japanese American Lives in Richmond’s Miraflores Development; Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California; Topaz Incarceration Site, Millard County, Utah; $97,500

• Colorado Preservation Inc., Colorado: Amache Barrack-Interior Interpretation; Amache Incarceration Site, Prowers County, Colorado; $64,000

• Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, California: Relocation of a War Relocation Authority Staff Building Back to Manzanar National Historic Site; Manzanar Incarceration Site, Inyo County, California; $44,152

• Fred T. Korematsu Institute, California: “Then They Came for Me” Traveling Exhibition; multiple sites; $247,540

• Global Kids, Inc., New York: GRIT-Global Kids (G2K) Project; Manzanar Incarceration Site, Inyo County, California; $210,258

• Go For Broke National Education Center, California: Unsung Service: Preserving the Nisei Cadet Nurse Corps; multiple sites; $28,481

• Go For Broke National Education Center, California:++ Valor in Confinement: Perspectives of the Japanese American Veterans of World War II; multiple sites; $96,72

• Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Montana: Fort Missoula Internment Camp Barracks Assessment; Fort Missoula Internment Site (Department of Justice), Missoula County, Montana; $40,000

• Japanese American National Museum, California: Japanese American National Museum Camp Digitization Project; multiple sites; $286,508

• Japanese American National Museum, California: Sutra and Bible: Faith and Japanese American World War II Incarceration; multiple sites; $245,382

• Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Hawaii: Remembering the Past to Change the Future; Honouliuli Internment Site (U.S. Army), Ewa, Honolulu County, Hawaii; Sand Island Detention Camp, (U.S. Army), Honolulu County, Hawaii; $151,960

• Michigan State University, Michigan: Internment Archaeology Digital Archive; Kooskia Internment Site (Department of Justice), Idaho County, Idaho; Minidoka Incarceration Site, Jerome County, Idaho; $379,017

• National Japanese American Historical Society, California: War Relocation Authority Incarceree Farm Labor Teacher Education Project; multiple sites; $156,018

• The National World War II Museum, Louisiana: Japanese American Experiences in World War II Electronic Field Trip; Heart Mountain Incarceration Site, Park County, Wyoming; Amache Incarceration Site, Prowers County, Colorado; $100,594

• Poston Community Alliance, California: Poston Live: Its Lessons and Multicultural Legacy; Poston Incarceration Site, La Paz County, Arizona; $50,075

• San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit, California: Tanforan Assembly Center Exhibit; Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California; $62,100

• Story Boldly, California: Digital Storytelling Workshops; multiple sites; $110,586

• United Tribes Technical College, North Dakota: Fort Lincoln Memorial Courtyard; Fort Lincoln Internment Camp (Department of Justice), Burleigh County, North Dakota; $190,133

• Visual Communications Media, California: They Answered No-No: Wayne Collins and the Renunciants; Tule Lake Segregation Center, Modoc County, California; Crystal City Internment Site (Department of Justice), Zavala County, Texas; $198,284

Total: $3,155,000

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