NPS Grants $3.1 Million to Preserve & Interpret WW II Japanese American Confinement Sites

Amache incarceration site in Colorado, December 12, 1942. (Photo courtesy of Tom Parker, National Archives and Records Administration.)




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.

April 28, 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


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