Issei Memorial Exhibit Underway

Through the support of a 2016 Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant, we are creating an Issei legacy exhibit dedicated to the Issei generation of Minidoka incarcerees, who are widely understood to have made the greatest sacrifices both in establishing our Japanese American communities and during the incarceration experience. We want to know more about the Issei in your life, and will soon have an online form available that will give us basic information on the Issei you are able to tell us about, and allow us to follow up with you for more information. This will help us to create a physical exhibit including the names of the Issei at Minidoka, Issei stories, and a digital exhibit with community-curated biographies to help us understand the Issei experience through reflections by descendants, biographies, photographs, and more. This exhibit will be part of the new Visitor Contact Station at Minidoka National Historic Site in the Summer of 2019. Please tell us about the Issei in your life and help us honor their memory. To learn more and to submit information for this project, visit www.minidoka.org/issei-stories. To support this project, visit www.minidoka.org/donate.

New Minidoka Book to be Released

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On August 6, a book entitled Minidoka National Historic Site from the Images of America series will be available for purchase nationwide! Written by Hanako Wakatsuki, Mia Russell, and Carol Ash, this book features nearly two hundred historic images of Minidoka, many from personal family collections which haven’t been viewed by the public, as well as descriptions of different aspects of life at camp. It will be available from retailers including Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Friends of Minidoka Awarded Grants

NPF Strategic Growth Initiative

This June, Friends of Minidoka was selected to participate in the pilot cohort of the Strategic Growth Initiative, the capacity building effort of Strong Parks, Strong Communities. SPSC is a three-way partnership between the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Friends Alliance designed to build the capacity of the full field of national park philanthropy.

As a part of the pilot cohort, FoM will undergo an initial assessment process and subsequent capacity-building assistance, delivered by Solid Ground Consulting. Our intent is to use this opportunity to work on strategic relationships and communications with our members, donors, park partners, and more. We hope to develop a more sophisticated outreach strategy, a new suite of communications literature, and a segmentation of our communications, whether through our website, newsletters, email, or social media communications. Our budget, board and staff commitment, park relationship, and national presence are all at the highest they have been, and Minidoka National Historic Site is developing and visitation continues to rise. A solid foundation in communications with members, donors, and the general public will leave us poised to solidify our mission and impact and concentrate on developing ourselves as philanthropic partners of Minidoka.

FY18 JACS Grant Program

This April, the National Park Service 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.

Friends of Minidoka was awarded $13,464 for the Friends of Minidoka Collection Densho Digital Repository Project. Using grant funds, the Friends of Minidoka will digitize 1,000 items in our collection to share with the public the history of the Minidoka incarceration site in Idaho with our partners at Densho.