News Release

National Park Service Awards More than $3.1 Million in Grants to Preserve and Interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites

Black and white photo of rows and rows of low, bare, one-story buildings.
Amache incarceration site in Colorado, December 12, 1942. Colorado Preservation, Inc., will develop interpretive elements at the site to provide visitors with a better understanding of Japanese American incarceree living conditions during World War II.

Photo courtesy of Tom Parker, National Archives and Records Administration.

News Release Date: April 27, 2020


WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is pleased to announce more than $3.1 million in Japanese American Confinement Sites grants that will fund preservation, restoration and education projects throughout the country. The 22 projects funded will help tell the stories of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the nation of Japan in 1941.

“These grants help to preserve an important piece of our nation’s history, educating generations of visitors about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

“The National Park Service is dedicated to the preservation and protection of natural, cultural, and historical resources across the United States,” said David Vela, National Park Service Deputy Director. “Through these projects, we have the honor of educating our visitors about the strength and perseverance of the Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.”

“The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula does an incredible job of telling the story of our nation and Montana’s history,” said Montana Senator Steve Daines. “I’m glad to have supported this project and look forward to seeing it complete.”

“Located in Granada, Colorado, Amache serves as a stark reminder of a dark moment in our country’s history,” said Colorado Senator Cory Gardner. “I’m grateful for the continued support from the National Park Service, and the Coloradans they partner with, which help ensure the site is preserved so we can remember the grave injustice committed against Japanese Americans during World War II and never repeat our mistakes from the past.”

“The internment of Japanese Americans was one of the most shameful times in American history. By funding preservation projects like these we can help ensure future generations will always remember in the hopes that we will never again treat Americans in this reprehensible way,” said California Congressman Jim Costa.

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 teach future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans and to inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful project 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.

Over the past 11 years, the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program has supported a wide range of successful projects, including a memorial and exhibit to tell the lesser-known stories of Japanese Americans who were forced to leave their homes in Juneau, and nearby Alaskan communities during the war; the restoration of headstones and monuments at the Rohwer cemetery in Arkansas; and the construction of visitors centers in Utah and Wyoming to tell the history of the Topaz and Heart Mountain incarceration sites and the larger, national story of Japanese American World War II incarceration.

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006, authorizing a total of $38 million in funding for the life of the program. Today’s announcement brings the current award total to more than $32 million.

Examples of new projects receiving funds this year include:

  • Fort Missoula Internment Camp Barracks Assessment: The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula will conduct an assessment of two original barracks moved back to the former World War II Department of Justice internment site, to help guide future restoration of the buildings, and interpretation of the site’s history.

  • Digital Storytelling Workshops: California-based Story Boldly will host several workshops to engage former incarcerees and their descendants in recording short films about their personal experiences during World War II, and the impacts on their families. These films will be shared with educators, and across social media, to reach youth and others unfamiliar with this part of our nation’s history.

  • Unsung Service: Preserving the Nisei Cadet Nurse Corps: The Go for Broke National Education Center will research the little-known history of Japanese American women who were recruited from Japanese American World War II incarceration sites to serve in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps to help fill the nation’s shortage of nurses.

A full list of the 22 new projects selected to receive funds in FY 2020 are identified in the table below. For more details about these projects, visit


Project Title

Project Site


Alameda Free Library, California

The Impact of Japanese American Incarceration on Alameda, California—the First California Community Removed under Executive Order 9066

All War Relocation Authority Sites


Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles (Vigilant Love), California

Solidarity Arts Fellowship

Manzanar Incarceration Site, Inyo County, California


Center for Independent Documentary, Massachusetts

Baseball Behind Barbed Wire

Multiple Sites


City of Richmond, California

Roses and Thorns: Sustaining Stories of Japanese American Lives in Richmond’s Miraflores Development

Tanforan "Assembly Center", San Bruno, San Mateo County, California; Topaz Incarceration Site, Millard County, Utah


Colorado Preservation, Inc., Colorado

Amache Barrack-Interior Interpretation

Amache Incarceration Site, Prowers County, Colorado


Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, California

Relocation of a War Relocation Authority Staff Building Back to Manzanar National Historic Site

Manzanar Incarceration Site, Inyo County, California


Fred T. Korematsu Institute, California

“Then They Came for Me” Traveling Exhibition

Multiple Sites


Global Kids, Inc., New York

GRIT-Global Kids (G2K) Project

Manzanar Incarceration Site, Inyo County, California


Go For Broke National Education Center, California

Unsung Service: Preserving the Nisei Cadet Nurse Corps

Multiple Sites


Go For Broke National Education Center, California

Valor in Confinement: Perspectives of the Japanese American Veterans of World War II

Multiple Sites


Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Montana

Fort Missoula Internment Camp Barracks Assessment

Fort Missoula Internment Site (Department of Justice), Missoula County, Montana


Japanese American National Museum, California

Japanese American National Museum Camp Digitization Project

Multiple Sites


Japanese American National Museum, California

Sutra and Bible: Faith and Japanese American World War II Incarceration

Multiple Sites


Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Hawaii

Remembering the Past to Change the Future

Honouliuli, Internment Site (US Army), Ewa, Honolulu County, Hawaii; Sand Island Detention Camp, (US Army), Honolulu County, Hawaii


Michigan State University, Michigan

Internment Archaeology Digital Archive

Kooskia Internment Site (Department of Justice), Idaho County, Idaho; Minidoka Incarceration Site, Jerome County, Idaho


National Japanese American Historical Society, California

War Relocation Authority Incarceree Farm Labor Teacher Education Project

Multiple Sites


The National World War II Museum, Louisiana

Japanese American Experiences in World War II Electronic Field Trip

Heart Mountain Incarceration Site, Park County, Wyoming; Amache Incarceration Site, Prowers County, Colorado


Poston Community Alliance, California

Poston Live: Its Lessons and Multicultural Legacy

Poston Incarceration Site, La Paz County, Arizona


San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit, California

Tanforan Assembly Center Exhibit

Tanforan “Assembly Center,” San Bruno, San Mateo County, California


Story Boldly, California

Digital Storytelling Workshops

Multiple Sites


United Tribes Technical College, North Dakota

Fort Lincoln Memorial Courtyard

Fort Lincoln Internment Camp (Department of Justice), Burleigh County, North Dakota


Visual Communications Media, California

They Answered No-No: Wayne Collins and the Renunciants

Tule Lake Segregation Center, Modoc County, California; Crystal City Internment Site (Department of Justice), Zavala County, Texas






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Last updated: April 27, 2020