JANHC: Confinement Site Grants

From: Gerald Yamada
Subject: JANHC: Confinement Site Grants
Friday, July 24, 2009

Today the National Park Service announced the first year funding for the Confinement Sites Preservation Program authorized by Public Law 109-442. NPS awarded 19 grants totaling $960,000.

I understand that NPS received 32 applications totaling almost $2.4 million. The applications were evaluated by an internal review panel with their recommendations provided to the Secretary of the Interior for final approval. NPS has promised to host another round of meetings later this year to highlight the projects that were funded and ask for additional input on the first year of funding for this grant program.

NPS deserves our appreciation for the manner in which NPS has implemented this program and the types of projects chosen to be funded. I believe that we are off to an excellent start.

That brings me to funding for next year. The House is likely to approve a $2.5M appropriations for FY 2010. The House Appropriations Committee Report reads:

”Japanese American Confinement Sites.--The Committee continues to recognize the importance of preserving these sites, and the stories of those affected by the actions of the Federal government. Because of the importance of these areas to current and future generations, the Committee has included the following efforts across several Park Service accounts. The Committee has included $2,500,000, which is $1,500,000 above the request, for the Japanese American Site Grants program. The Committee has also included $350,000 in land acquisition, as requested, to acquire 17 acres at the Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho. Additionally, the Committee has included new bill language in Title I, General Provisions, that will expand the acquisition boundary of the Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho and the Heart Mountain site in Wyoming. This language will allow the National Park Service to purchase additional lands from willing sellers in future years.”

President Obama requested $1M in his budget for this program. We can thank the efforts made by Congresswoman Doris (Okada) Matsui (Poston 305-4-D), Congressman Mike Honda, and Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks for their efforts to increase this amount to $2.5M.

Beneficiary Projects that will Receive Grant Funding from the JA Confinement Site Grant Program:

Poston Community Alliance-Parker, AZ
“Saving the Stories: Oral Histories & Digitization of Former Poston Detainees & Staff”
Colorado River Indian (Poston) Relocation Center $25,994

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