Washington, D.C. -- The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the grant award recipients for the Fiscal Year 2010 Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. NPS has awarded 23 grants totaling $2.9 million to help preserve and interpret historic locations where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II.
Jon Jarvis, Director of NPS, stated: "The Japanese American internment experience is an important chapter in American History. The National Park Service is honored to be part of this shared effort to preserve these sites, which are a tragic reminder of a shameful episode in our past, and a compelling lesson on the fragility of our constitutional rights."
The NPS grants range from $17,295 to re-establish the historic Honor Roll at the Minidoka National Historic Site in Jerome County, ID (which commemorates Japanese American servicemen from that camp) to $832,879 to build the interior of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center in Park County, Wyoming.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has been awarded a grant of $151,790 for a program called "Passing the Legacy Down: Youth Interpretations of Confinement Sites in the Western United States" which will include the Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, CA, Tule Lake Relocation Center (Tule Lake Segregation Center), Modoc County, CA, Colorado River Relocation Center (Poston), La Paz County, AZ, Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, ID.
The Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program was established in 2006 by Congress to preserve and interpret the places where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. The law authorizes up to $38 million in grants for the life of the program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair, and acquire historic confinement sites. The program seeks to teach and inspire present and future generations about the injustice of the Japanese American confinement and demonstrate the nation's commitment since then to equal justice under the law.
Congress appropriated $3 million in the current fiscal year for grants which were awarded on a competitive process, matching $2 in federal money for every $1 in non-federal funds and "in-kind" contributions raised by groups working to preserve the sites and their histories. Congress appropriated $1 million for fiscal year 2009, the first year of the grants.
Locations eligible for the grants include the ten War Relocation Authority camps that were set up in 1942 in seven states: Gila River and Poston, AZ; Amache, CO; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome and Rohwer, AR; Manzanar and Tule Lake, CA; Minidoka, ID; and Topaz, UT. There are also 40 other locations in 16 states, including civilian and military-run assembly, relocation, and isolation centers.
National Executive Director of the JACL, Floyd Mori, who was instrumental along with Gerald Yamada, in getting the bill introduced by then Congressman Bill Thomas and passed by Congress which established the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, stated: "The JACL is grateful to the NPS and to Congress for this grant which will help us to continue to tell the Japanese American story in order to ensure that no other people will have to endure the horrific experiences which Japanese Americans did during World War II. We appreciate the efforts of Craig Ishii, the JACL Pacific Southwest Regional Director, for his work in the grant application process necessary to secure this funding."
Larry Oda, National JACL President, added: "These grants will allow the JACL and other organizations to tell the important story of the Japanese American internment experience. We thank those involved in awarding this grant to the JACL."
Click here for the NPS News Release of all the Recipients