National Park Service Awards $1.3 Million in Grants for Preservation of Japanese American Confinement Sites

Historical black and white photo of incarcerated Japanese American children in front of a school building
School flagpole dedication ceremony at the Minidoka incarceration site in Idaho, June 1943. Among the new grant projects, The Friends of Minidoka will digitize images from their collection and make them accessible on the Densho Digital Repository.

Image courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration through Densho Digital Repository

News Release Date: April 13, 2018

Contact: NPS Office of Communications

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service today announced more than $1.3 million in grants to fund preservation, restoration, and education projects at World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites. These projects will help 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.

“Using both traditional and innovative techniques, we are working with communities and partner organizations to preserve an important part of our nation’s history,” National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith said. “More than 75 years later, new generations of Americans can use these resources to learn the struggles and perseverance of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.”

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006. Today’s announcement brings the current award total from the program to more than $25 million.

The grants will fund a diverse array of projects. Using grant funds, the Friends of Minidoka will digitize more than 1,000 items in their collection to share with the public the history of the Minidoka incarceration site in Idaho.

The Japanese American Service Committee, working in partnership with the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, will preserve over 140 oral histories focused on the Military Intelligence Service and the broader experiences of those impacted by the WWII incarceration and resettlement process. They will also develop two multimedia exhibits and conduct teacher trainings to help educators integrate these materials into Chicago middle and high schools.

Japanese American Confinement Sites grants may be awarded to projects associated with the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 and more than 40 additional confinement sites. The program’s mission is to educate future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans and to demonstrate the Nation’s 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 non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.

A list of the projects receiving funding is below. For more details about these projects, visit

For more information on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, visit:
Project Title
Project Site
Grant Award Amount
Colorado Preservation, Inc., Colorado
“Amache Recreation Hall Restoration, Reconstruction and Interpretation”
Granada Relocation Center (Amache), Prowers County, Colorado
Densho, Washington
“Stories Less Told Part III: Oral Histories of Resettlement and Return”
Multiple Sites
Fred T. Korematsu Institute, California
Developing Curriculum and Educating Through Film: ‘And Then They Came for Us’”
Multiple Sites
Friends of Minidoka, Idaho
“Friends of Minidoka Collection Densho Digital Repository Project”
Minidoka Relocation Center, Jerome County, Idaho
Full Spectrum Features, Illinois
“Resistance & Resettlement: A Cinematic Digital History Project”
Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County, Wyoming; Rohwer Relocation Center, Desha County, Arkansas
The Internet Archive, California
“Digital Library of Japanese American Incarceration”
Multiple Sites
National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc., California
Bear Witness: Camp Oral History Digital Collections
Multiple Sites
Japanese American Service Committee, Illinois
“Bridging Voices Project: Japanese American WWII Oral History Collection, Digitization, and Dissemination”
Multiple Sites
Stanford University, California
Office of Redress Administration (ORA) Oral History Project
Multiple Sites
Total $1,346,818

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Last updated: April 13, 2018

Experience More