NPS Awards $2.8 Million in JA Confinement Site Grants


The Pacific Southwest District JACL's project includes the Tuna Canyon Detention Station site in Los Angeles County.

The Pacific Southwest District JACL’s project includes the Tuna Canyon Detention Station site in Los Angeles County.

WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has announced $2.8 million in Japanese American Confinement Sites grants to fund educational programs, preservation projects, memorials, and exhibits.

The 15 projects in five U.S. states will tell the story of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, who were imprisoned by the U.S. government following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Jarvis announced the grants at a reception for the All Camps Consortium hosted by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. on May 12.

“The National Park Service is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II,” Jarvis said. “The inclusion of sites like Honouliuli, Manzanar, Minidoka, and Tule Lake in the National Park System and the support for the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program reflect our nation’s commitment to remember and learn from this shameful episode in our past.”

President Obama designated Honouliuli Internment Camp as Honouliuli National Monument in February 2015 to share the stories of those who were unjustly held there during World War II.

The grants announcement comes as the NPS pays tribute to the generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month throughout May.

The NPS is also preparing a theme study to inspire Americans to discover the story of America’s Asian and Pacific Island heritage and to help those seeking National Historic Landmark or National Register of Historic Places designation for historic places linked to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders experience in the United States. The theme study’s introductory chapter will be published soon.

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 of $2.8 million brings the current award total to more than $21 million.

The grants will be used for projects that include a memorial to honor the 8,000 Japanese Americans who were imprisoned at the Tanforan Assembly Center, built on a former horse racing track in California; exhibitions about the Rohwer and Jerome camps in Arkansas; and the development of high school curriculum to teach students about the lesser-known Department of Justice camps, such as Fort Lincoln in North Dakota and Fort Stanton in New Mexico.

Japanese American Confinement Sites grants may be awarded to projects associated with the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 and the 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 commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful 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.

A list of the projects receiving awards is below. For further project details, visit

• Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, San Francisco, $22,800 for “Developing Permanent Exhibits about Japanese Internment on Angel Island for its Pacific Coast Immigration Center.” Angel Island, North Garrison of Fort McDowell (INS and U.S. Army), Marin County.

• Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Ark., $153,699 for “Exhibitions and Educational Outreach on the Confinement Camps at Rohwer and Jerome, Arkansas.” Jerome Relocation Center, Chicot and Drew counties, Ark.; Rohwer Relocation Center, Desha County, Ark.

• Densho, Seattle, $421,941 for “Names Registry and Thesaurus of the Japanese American Experience.” Multiple sites.

• Densho, Seattle, $344,204 for “Saving and Preserving Confinement Sites Materials from Personal Collections.” Multiple sites.

• Friends of Minidoka, Twin Falls, Idaho, $78,000 for “Minidoka Legacy Memorial Interpretive Exhibit Project.” Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho.

• Go For Broke National Education Center, Los Angeles, $378,937 for “Communities of Compassion and Courage.” Multiple sites.

• Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, Powell, Wyo., $116,038 for “The History of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and Resister Movement Project.” Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County, Wyo.

• Japanese American Citizens League, Pacific Southwest District, Los Angeles, $41,340 for “Bridging Communities Fellowship Program.” Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County; Tuna Canyon Detention Station (INS), Los Angeles County.

• Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, $41,485 for “The Eaton Collection Project, Phase I.” Multiple sites.

• Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, $74,275 for “Meet the Yamashitas:An Interactive Website.” Multiple sites, including Rohwer Relocation Center, Desha County, Ark.; Fort Missoula Internment Camp (INS), Missoula County, Mont.; Santa Fe Internment Camp (INS), Santa Fe County, N.M.; and Camp Livingston (U.S. Army), Rapides Parish and Grand Parish, La.

• Midpeninsula Community Media Center, Inc., Palo Alto, $143,482 for “50 Objects/50 Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration.” Multiple sites.

• National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc., San Francisco, $139,605 for “The Untold Stories: The Department of Justice Internment Teacher Education Project.” Multiple sites, including Crystal City Internment Camp (INS), Zavala County, Texas; Fort Lincoln Internment Camp (INS), Burleigh County, N.D.; Kooskia Internment Camp (INS), Idaho County, Idaho; and Santa Fe Internment Camp (INS), Santa Fe County, N.M.

• Tanforan Assembly Center Memorial Committee, Richmond, Calif., $363,839 for “Tanforan Assembly Center Memorial.” Tanforan WCCA Assembly Center, San Mateo County, Calif.

• Valley Public Television, Inc. dba Valley PBS, Fresno, $373,716 for “Silent Sacrifice: The Story of Japanese American Incarceration and Beyond in California’s San Joaquin Valley.” Merced WCCA Assembly Center, Merced County; Fresno WCCA Assembly Center, Fresno County; Pinedale WCCA Assembly Center, Fresno County; and Tulare WCCA Assembly Center, Tulare County.

• Wing Luke Memorial Foundation dba Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, $151,639 for “Inspiring Future Generations: Challenging the Forced Incarceration Through Acts of Resistance.” Multiple sites.

Total: $2,845,000

For more information on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, visit



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