Park Service Grants

Park Service awards Japanese internment grants

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The National Park Service has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to increase public awareness about & help preserve sites related to the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The largest of the 19 grants, $282,000, is going to an organization that is building a museum at the former Heart Mountain Relocation Center outside Powell in northern Wyoming.

Also receiving grants are programs at the Manzanar & Tule Lake relocation centers in California, Honouliuli Internment Camp in Hawaii, Fort Lincoln Internment Camp in North Dakota, Kooskia Internment Camp in Idaho, Crystal City Internment Camp in Texas, & Central Utah (Topaz) Relocation Center.

Other grants will help organizations record interviews with people who lived at the camps.

"Especially now, it's really urgent that we document internees' experiences — firsthand experiences, what it was like," said Kara Miyagishima, a Park Service historian in Denver.

President Obama approved the funding earlier this year & the Park Service announced the grants Friday. The Park Service awarded the $960,000 after holding public meetings in Honolulu, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles & San Francisco. The Park Service received a total of 32 applications seeking $2.4 million through the program, said Gerald Yamada, national coordinator for the Japanese-American National Heritage Coalition.

"They've I think gone out of the way to outreach to the community and get input," Yamada said Monday.

Grant recipients must raise $1 on their own for every $2 in federal funding they receive. Congress now is considering awarding another $2.5 million through the program next year, Yamada said.

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