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NPS Awards $1.5 Million in Grants for Preservation of JA Confinement Sites

With the help of a 2015 JACS grant, the University of Colorado Denver’s Center of Preservation Research used Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanning technology to document existing and reconstructed buildings at the Amache incarceration site. (Photo by Michael Nulty, University of Colorado Denver)

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service on Aug. 21 announced more than $1.5 million in Japanese American Confinement Sites grants.

The money will fund preservation, restoration, and education projects related to the detainment of Japanese Americans by the U.S. government during World War II.

These projects will help 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.

“Using both traditional and innovative techniques, we are working with communities and partner organizations to preserve an important part of our nation’s history,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “More than 75 years later, new generations of Americans can use these resources to learn the struggles and perseverance of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.”

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006 and authorized a total of $38 million in funding for the preservation and interpretation of associated sites. The latest announcement brings the current award total to more than $26 million.

The grants are awarded to projects linked to the ten War Relocation Authority centers, which were established in 1942, and more than 40 additional confinement sites. Projects are chosen through a competitive process and applicants are required to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 received in federal money.

The projects include the following:

The Japanese American National Museum of Los Angeles will create an exhibit based on the diaries and letters of Stanley Hayami, a teenager who served in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team and was killed in action while his family remained incarcerated at Heart Mountain in Wyoming.

The University of Colorado Denver will digitally scan the landscape and building foundations at the former Amache incarceration site in Prowers County, Colorado.

The Oregon Nikkei Endowment of Portland will catalogue and post online more than 1,500 photos, paintings and artifacts from its collection to shed more light on the Minidoka incarceration site in Idaho.

A list of the projects receiving funding is below.

• Anaheim Public Library, “Anaheim Japanese American Heritage Project,” Colorado River Relocation Center (Poston), La Paz County, Arizona, $38,833

• Friends of Minidoka, Idaho, “The Lessons of Minidoka: Broadcast Documentary and Education Project,” Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho, $247,716

• Japanese American National Museum, “On My Honor: Scouting in American Concentration Camps,” multiple sites, $155,952

• Japanese American National Museum, “The Stanley Hayami Diary: A Virtual Exploration of Camp Through the Eyes of a Teenaged Boy,” multiple sites, $331,779

• Japanese American Service Committee, Illinois, “Bridging Voices Project: Japanese American World War II Oral History Collection, Digitization, and Dissemination, Phase II,” multiple sites, $61,007

• Musical Traditions, Inc. (dba Paul Dresher Ensemble), California, “‘Both Eyes Only’ Chamber Opera,” multiple sites, $40,000

• National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc., San Francisco, “We Are All Americans: Teacher Education Project,” multiple sites, $142,468

• Northwest Film Forum, Washington, “Japanese American Pilgrimage Website,” multiple sites, $194,101

• Oregon Nikkei Endowment, Oregon, “Preserving and Sharing the Minidoka Collection of Oregon Nikkei Endowment,” Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho, $67,155

• San Francisco Film Organization, California, “United States Japanese Alien Camps of World War II,” multiple sites, $204,302

• Smith College, Massachusetts, “Graphic Language: The Art of Munio Makuuchi,” Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho, $37,822

• University of Colorado Denver, Colorado, “Amache 3D Digital Documentation, Phase II,” Granada Relocation Center (Amache), Prowers County, Colorado, $37,047

Total: $1,558,182

About the National Park Service

More than 20,000 NPS employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

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