National Park Service Announces Availability of $3 Million in Grants to Preserve the History of Japanese American Confinement during WWII

Heart Mountain WY_Courtesy Of Densho
Densho, a JACS grant recipient, shares the history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II through their extensive digital repository, which includes this photo of Heart Mountain, Wyoming, 1943.

Image courtesy of Densho's Wada and Homma Family Collection

News Release Date: September 1, 2016

Contact: Jeremy Barnum, 202-208-6843

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is now accepting applications for $3 million in grants to support the preservation of places where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.

"Through these grants, the National Park Service is giving communities and partners a voice in telling the difficult story of Japanese American confinement during World War II," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. "By doing so we honor those who endured incarceration and ensure that a new generation of Americans can learn from this tragic episode in our history."

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program in 2006 to preserve and explain the places where Japanese American men, women, and children – most of them U.S. citizens –were incarcerated after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Japanese American Confinement Sites grants are awarded to eligible groups and entities, including non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and state, local, and tribal governments, for work to preserve confinement sites and their histories.

In establishing the program, Congress authorized up to $38 million in grants that can be awarded over the life of the program, with funds appropriated annually. To date, the program has awarded more than $21 million in grants to 163 projects involving 20 states and the District of Columbia.

In Fiscal Year 2016, the National Park Service distributed 15 grants totaling more than $2.8 million. The President's budget for Fiscal Year 2017 seeks $3 million for the next round of program grants.

Grants may be used for a variety of efforts, including the design and construction of interpretive centers, trails, wayside exhibits, and other facilities, oral histories and site-history research, school curricula, and purchase of non-federal land at authorized sites.

The program requires applicants to raise project funds from other sources to "match" the grant money, which is awarded after a competitive review of project proposals. Successful grantees must match $1 in non-federal funds or "in-kind" contributions to every $2 they receive in federal money. Matching funds can be raised and spent during the grant period and do not have to be "in the bank" when a group applies for a grant. Applicants may receive up to two grants a year.

More than 60 historic sites are eligible for grant-funded work. They include the 10 War Relocation Authority centers that were established in 1942 in seven states: Granada (Amache), CO; Gila River and Poston, AZ; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome and Rohwer, AR; Manzanar and Tule Lake, CA; Minidoka, ID, and Topaz, UT. Also included are more than 40 other sites, including "assembly centers" and U.S. Army and Department of Justice detention and internment facilities.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, Nov. 1 (5p.m., MST).

More information, including 2017 application materials and lists of the program's most recent awards, is available on the grant program website:

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 413 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: September 1, 2016

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