WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis 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 where 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 U.S. The theme study’s introductory chapter will be published soon.
Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program in 2006, authoring a total of $38 million in funding for the life of the program. The 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 WWII 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 nonfederal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.
For further project details, visit www.nps.gov/JACS/. For more information on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, visit www.nps.gov/subjects/worldwariiinternment.htm.