Letter from the Executive Director

 Dear Friends, 

2019 has been a very exciting year for Friends of Minidoka! This spring we have been supporting the National Park Service as they receive requests for more tours and field trips than ever before, a sure sign that as the site develops and becomes increasingly relevant today, the American public has a strong desire to learn from this important history. Each time I am at the site I admire the transformations that Warehouse #5 is undergoing. All of us at FoM are excitedly looking forward to joining all of our Friends at the 2019 Minidoka Pilgrimage and dedicating the new visitor center, and taking in the improvements to the warehouse and the new exhibits that will fill it. 

In preparing for the opening of the visitor center, all of our efforts have turned towards tangible projects that truly support our mission of preserving the Minidoka site and its legacy, and educating the public on this history. In this newsletter you will see updates on three projects we are currently working on that fulfill these aims, from digitizing and sharing historic photographs that haven’t been made publicly available, to creating a documentary through the voices of survivors along with a curriculum to get this under-taught history into our classrooms, to fulfilling our commitment to honoring our Issei pioneers at the Minidoka site and telling their story through an exhibit and a memorial wall. 

This spring we also took part in a 3 day Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium meeting in our nation’s capitol, advancing the foundation of the Consortium through meetings with stakeholder organizations from across the country, and educating our nation’s leaders in Congress about our united efforts in keeping this history alive and advocating for their continued support of the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program. 

You may notice that this newsletter doesn’t include our 2018 donor report. We didn’t forget you, but we will be publishing it separately. We will be releasing a 2018 Annual Report soon, and it will include our donor acknowledgments there. 

Finally, we hope you will consider supporting us this Idaho Gives. Idaho Gives is a 24-hour giving day taking place on May 2, 2019. It is a celebration of nonprofit organizations all across Idaho (and with the help of our friends from out of state.) Last year generous supporters donated over $1.5 million dollars to Idaho nonprofits in a single day! If you have been planning to renew your membership or donate, please consider doing so on May 2nd at https://www. idahogives.org/organizations/friends-of-minidoka 

For 24 hours on May 2nd, every donation we receive will give us the opportunity to also receive matching donations from Idaho corporations. Make your money go further on May 2nd, and help us accomplish our goals in 2019! 

Best, 

Mia Russell 
Executive Director 
Friends of Minidoka 
mia@minidoka.org