National Park Service Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative
  • image of Pacific Islander, Wing Luke, and Chinese Junk, early immigrants, and Japanese American Women during World War II

    Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative

    Cultural Resources National Park Service

For more information and updates, please visit Telling All Americans’ Stories.

 Find additional publications  about America’s diverse histories.

The National Park Service Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage projects explore how the legacy of Asian American Pacific Islanders can be recognized, preserved, and interpreted for future generations. The National Park Service, as a storyteller of our Nation’s past, is committed to connecting and amplifying Asian American and Pacific Islander stories throughout national parks and communities across the United States.

This website highlights projects undertaken by National Park Service parks and programs as part of the Service’s commitment to telling the Asian American Pacific Islander story. Projects vary from increased interpretation, collaboration with community organizations, and the production of scholarly documentation.

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​Vietnamese American Oral History Project and Exhibit

After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, significant numbers of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants arrived in the United States.  The University of California, Irvine and Orange County, California Parks are presenting an 8-month art and history exhibition about the Vietnamese-American experience in the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana from July 2015 to February 2016. 


 image for Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War publication


New Publication Available on Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War

Did you know that a number of Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) served in the Civil War?

Over the past two decades, a group of researchers and writers have recovered hundreds of API servicemen from more than 25 countries, many of which are told in the new publication, Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War. Richly illustrated and beautifully designed, the book brings to life – in living color – the accounts of these forgotten warriors who fought for a nation in which they faced extreme discrimination. After the war, many of these soldiers and sailors faced yet a different battle, the fight for citizenship and equality. This book chronicles that struggle through the 1950s.
For more information on this publication and others in the series:
To Order:
In the Western US, Western National Parks Association
In the Eastern US, Eastern National

In the Western US, Leanne Bartlett, 520.219.9535,
In the Eastern US, Mark Vineburg, 215.283.6900 x123,

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​AAPI Historic Sites Campaign Webinar

On March 10, 2015, the National Park Service and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosted a webinar on the AAPI Historic Sites Campaign. This campaign is part of the AAPI Heritage Initiative which aims to recognize and honor the stories, places, and people of AAPI heritage as part of our entire country’s history. Click here to access materials from the webinar.​

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East at Main Street: APIA Mapping Project by Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation

Few sites associated with Asian Pacific Islander (API) American history and culture have been recognized as landmarks. Raising awareness of these places will assist their preservation for the future. Help Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) uncover and share information and memories reflecting the historical and cultural contributions of API Americans. By illustrating the range of ethnicity, religion, class, occupation, and gender that make up API communities, we will help create a more complete picture of United States history.


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Find Your Place: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

This 28-page booklet examines the enduring and influential presence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—from the earliest settlement of the country to the economic development of the West to the desegregation of public schools in the 20th century and political influence in the 21st. A core essay traces their impact on the American landscape, followed by the stories of seven signature places commemorating the legacy. A concluding section illustrates how this heritage is preserved today, transcending “bricks and mortar” preservation to include a celebration of collective experience.

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White House Forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

On May 13, 2013, nearly 400 Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) from all walks of life gathered at the Department of the Interior for the White House Forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, where we discussed ways the Department, especially the National Park Service, can better tell the story of the AAPI experience in America and the contributions this vibrant community has made to our country and its culture.

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Secretary Salazar Launches Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on February 11, 2013 that he has directed the National Park Service to undertake an Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study to investigate the stories, places and people of Asian American and Pacific Island heritage.

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Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

Secretary Salazar along with National Park Service Director Javis launched the Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study by announcing that the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle is an “affiliated area” of the National Park Service – a designation to recognize the national significance of properties that are privately owned and operated but encompass important aspects of our nation’s heritage for which an official association with the Service would be mutually beneficial.

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Archeology of Japanese American Internment at Kooskia Internment Camp

During World War II, the U.S. government imprisoned over 120,000 individuals of Japanese heritage solely due to their ethnicity. Internees creatively interrogated their imprisonment by utilizing and crafting material culture. This online seminar by Dr. Stacey Camp, University of Idaho examines materials recovered in the form of artwork, gaming pieces, vases, and other artifacts from Idaho's Kooskia Internment Camp.

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Pacific Island Heritage Word of the Day

Welcome to the National Park Service's official blog for America's National Parks in the Pacific. Join us as we EXPLORE our Natural Wonders, CELEBRATE our Unique Cultures & HONOR our Heroes. Aloha, Talofa, & Hafa Adai!

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Asian Pacific Heritage - a Celebration

The National Park Service recognizes the historical contributions of Asian and Pacific peoples in the United States and its associated territories. From the early 1800s to the 21st century, Asian and Pacific peoples have played a vital role in the development of the United States and made lasting contributions in all elements of American society.

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National Park Service Travel Itineraries

The National Park Service travel itinerary,  Asian American Pacific Islander Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary , features historic places that tell the stories and demonstrate the role and contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the heritage of the United States.

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Teaching With Historic Places

Teaching with Historic Places Asian American History Lesson Plans

Teaching with Historic Places engages students from upper elementary school through college in active learning from real historic places. Several online  classroom lesson plans focus on the role of Asian Americans in our nation’s history

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Discover Washington State: Youth Heritage Project

The "Discover Washington State: Youth Heritage Project" was based in Seattle's Chinatown/International District this year on the theme of AAPI heritage in the Pacific Northwest and is a part of the Department of the Interior's AAPI Heritage Initiative.  The Youth Summit was geared towards high school students in Washington State only.