TULE LAKE SEGREGATION CENTER BECOMES NATIONAL MONUMENT
Contact: Vanessa Vaughan, (703) 908-5809
Arlington, VA (December 5, 2008) – The Conservation Fund today praised President George W. Bush’s action to designate the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which includes a number of key historic sites in the Pacific region and continental United States, including the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, located in northern California.
As part of a nationwide initiative to conserve Japanese American internment camp sites, The Conservation Fund has worked closely with the National Park Service (NPS), Japanese American Citizens League, Tule Lake Committee and other local partners to conserve land at the site of three former camps – Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho, Topaz in Utah and now the Tule Lake site in Northern California. To date, the Fund has protected over 230 acres of historic lands at Minidoka and Topaz.
Today’s action by the president will conserve historic lands at the Tule Lake Segregation Center, which was the largest and longest-running of the 10 internment camps operated by the War Relocation Authority during World War II. Tule Lake served as a segregation center, housing those Japanese Americans who answered “no” to the government’s controversial questions of loyalty.
“By conserving these important sites, President Bush recognized the valor of American military personnel throughout the Pacific theater and the quiet courage of Japanese Americans incarcerated at Tule Lake,” remarked Dan Sakura, project leader for the Fund’s Japanese American Internment Camp Protection Initiative. “Today’s action also demonstrated a commitment to tell one of the many important stories associated with World War II. These camp sites stand today as an important reminder of a difficult time in American history, and preserving them and other storied places will leave a lasting legacy and ensure that future generations have a chance to understand, appreciate and learn from our nation’s rich and diverse history.”
Did You Know?
When the Spanish colonized Mexico and Central America, they borrowed from the native inhabitants the Nahuatl word tollin for a bulrush. The English-speaking settlers of the West in turn borrowed the Spanish word tule to refer to certain varieties of bulrushes native to California.