NPS announces $2.9 mil. in grants to preserve WWII Nikkei confinement sites


WASHINGTON — National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis on June 12 announced 21 grants totaling more than $2.9 million to help preserve and interpret the World War II confinement sites of Japanese Americans. The U.S. government imprisoned some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

“As America’s storyteller, the National Park Service is committed to sharing this tragic episode of our nation’s past and what it teaches us about the fragility of our constitutional rights,” Jarvis said in a statement. “These grants fund projects to help us gain a better understanding of the past, engage new audiences, and build new partnerships in the preservation of these historic sites and lessons they hold.”

Projects selected include the stabilization of the historic elementary school at the former Poston site in Arizona; an educational training program for 600 teachers across California on the local and national stories about the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II; and an exhibition exploring the significance of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Japanese American veterans of World War II who served in the military while their families lived behind barbed wire.

The grant amounts range from $12,650 awarded to the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress organization for a “Speak Out for Justice” DVD video series that highlights the testimonies of 157 people who spoke before the Los Angeles public hearing of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in 1981, to $497,186 for the Topaz Museum to create exhibits for the newly constructed Topaz Museum and Education Center in Delta, Utah, located 16 miles from the Topaz incarceration site in Millard County, Utah.

The Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, now in its sixth year, will support projects in seven states and the District of Columbia. The grants announced June 12 bring the program’s total awards to more than $15 million since Congress established the grant program in 2006. A total of $38 million in grant funds was authorized for the life of the program.

Grants from the program can go to the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 or to more than 40 other confinement sites. The goal of the program is to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement history and inspire a 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 winning projects follows. For more details about these projects, visit:

For more information, contact Kara Miyagishima, program manager for the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, at (303) 969-2885 or


Grants to preserve the Japanese American incarceration experience

ABAS Law Foundation, Sacramento, Calif. “Research Documents for Tule Lake Segregation Center”; Tule Lake Segregation Center, Modoc County, Calif.

Camera News, Inc., dba Third World Newsreel, New York, N.Y. “Resistance at Tule Lake”; Tule Lake Segregation Center, Modoc County, Calif.

Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Ark. “Rohwer Art Textile Conservation and Preservation Project”; Rohwer concentration camp, Desha County, Ark.

Colorado Preservation, Inc., Denver, Colo. “Amache Laundry Building Relocation and Restoration, Mess Hall Planning, and
Guard/Water Tower Security”;
Granada concentration camp (Amache), Prowers County, Colo.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. “Confinement in the Land of Enchantment”- Historic Markers, Publication and Website Implementation;
Santa Fe Internment Camp, Santa Fe County, N.M.; Fort Stanton Internment Camp, Lincoln County, N.M.; Camp Lordsburg (US Army Internment Facility), Hidalgo County, N.M.; and Old Raton (Baca) Ranch Camp, Santa Fe County, N.M.

CyArk, Oakland, Calif.
“Rediscovering Honouliuli: Exploring Japanese American Confinement through Student Narratives and Digital Documentation”;
Honouliuli Internment Site, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Densho, Seattle. “Online Repository for Editing Confinement Sites Video Testimonies”; Multiple Sites

Earshot Jazz Society of Seattle, Seattle. “Panama Hotel Jazz Education and Performance Extension”; Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County, Wash.; Seattle Temporary Detention Facility, King County, Wash.; Puyallup Assembly Center, King County, Wash.

Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, Powell, Wyo. “Heart Mountain Accessibility Project”; Heart Mountain concentration camp, Park County, Wyo.

Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles. “A Collections-Based Guide for Digitally Exploring America’s Concentration Camps”; Multiple Sites

Los Angeles Harbor Department, San Pedro, Calif. “Lost Communities of Terminal Island Publication”; Terminal Island, Los Angeles County, Calif.

National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco. “Western Region Confinement Sites Education Project”; Multiple Sites

Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress, Los Angeles, Calif. “Courage of Japanese Americans as They Speak Out for Justice (CWRIC Los Angeles)”; Multiple Sites

Poston Community Alliance, Lafayette, Calif. “Historic Structures Assessment and Stabilization for the Poston Elementary School Site”; Colorado River (Poston) concentration camp, La Paz County, Ariz.

San Joaquin County Office of Education, Stockton, Calif. “California Legacy Voice Network”; Manzanar concentration camp, Inyo County, Calif.; Tule Lake Segregation Center, Modoc
County, Calif.; and all California WCCA Assembly Centers

Smithsonian Institution, Asian Pacific American Center, Washington, D.C. “Congressional Gold Medal Digital Exhibition: The Untold Stories of the Nisei Soldiers”; Multiple Sites

Topaz Museum, Delta, Utah “Manufacturing and Installation of Exhibits for the Topaz Museum and Education Center”; Topaz concentration camp, Millard County, Utah

University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Ark. “The Rohwer Relocation Center Cemetery Conservation, Phase II”; Rohwer concentration camp, Desha County, Ark.

University of California Berkeley Sponsored Projects Office, Berkeley, Calif. “Voices in Confinement: A Digital Archive of Japanese American Internees”; Multiple Sites

Visual Communications, Los Angeles, Calif. “Building History 3.0: Learning about the Japanese American Incarceration Camps through Minecraft”; Multiple Sites

Visual Communications, Los Angeles, Calif. “The Heart Mountain Barracks Project”; Heart Mountain concentration camp, Park County, Wyo.


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