Minidoka


The Friends of Minidoka (FoM) and the National parks Service (NPS) are working together to improve the Minidoka National Historic Site.  The NPS recently erected new wayside exhibits interpreting the history, people, conditions, injustice and community of Minidoka at the site and started giving guided tours.  NPS has located, identified and studied approximately 20 Minidoka barracks and two residential block mess halls. They are working to determine the best structures to be returned to the historic site and are seeking funding to re-establish Block 22.
	The Honor Roll, originally installed at Minidoka in 1943, listed the names of all the men from the camp who served in the U.S. Army.  FoM and the NPS are currently undergoing a materials study to determine the most cost-effective materials to use for the reconstruction of the structure.  We are hoping to have the reconstructed Honor Roll erected by the 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage.  
	Recently the Minidoka NHS was threatened by the possibility of having power lines running through the site.  This issue was recently resolved by rerouting the lines a few miles away from the site.  In 2007, the Minidoka NHS was listed as one of the America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation due to the threats posed by a permit holder to construct and operate a 13,000 animal Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) located 1.2 miles from Minidoka NHS.  A feedlot of this magnitude would be a considerable detriment to the function of Minidoka as a safe public park and endanger its historic assets and its use as an educational site for future generations. If you would like to help support this cause, please visit Minidoka.org and click on the DONATE NOW button.  

Contact:
Ann F. Lindwall
206-367-8749
206-251-6713


Press Release – For Immediate Release 

2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage
June 30 – July 3

Seattle, WA - Close to 70 years ago, during World War II, almost thirteen thousand people of Japanese ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were forcibly removed from their homes in
Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and sent to a desolate “incarceration camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.

To commemorate the 69th year of this historic event, former incarcerees, their families, friends, and those interested in this historic event will make a pilgrimage from Seattle and Portland to the former Minidoka Internment Camp from June 30 – July 3, 2011. The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and the Friends of Minidoka invite all those who are interested to join us on our pilgrimage.

This year’s Pilgrimage highlights include:

•       Honor Roll will be dedicated.  While Minidoka had seven percent of the males of all the centers, it provided 25 percent of the volunteers that made up the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the U.S. armed forces, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all Nisei unit. As a way of honoring those volunteers, an Honor Roll was constructed in the Victory Garden just inside the entrance to
Minidoka.  It named each individual from Minidoka who volunteered to serve in World War II.
•       1.6 mile walking trail will be completed and way signs will be installed to guide guests at the historical site.
•       Optional tours to Hagerman fossil beds are scheduled for Friday with morning and afternoon visits to view a small collection of Minidoka artifacts that are being temporarily stored there until the
Visitor’s Center is completed.
•       An original barrack that is being returned to camp will be in place on the Block 22 site.
•       BBQ on Saturday to be hosted by Roy Prescott, local rancher and the town's people of Eden, ID.  Eden is the end of the rail line where the internees from Camp Harmony were off loaded and put on buses for the final leg of their journey to Minidoka.

Today, most of the 33,000 acres that once made up Minidoka has been taken over by farms.  However, in 2001, 73 acres along the North Side Canal, near the entrance was designated a National Historical Monument.  On December 21, 2006, President Bush signed H.R. 1492 into law guaranteeing $38,000,000 in federal money to restore the Minidoka relocation center along with nine other former Japanese incarceration camps.  And on May 8, 2008, he signed into law The Wild Sky Wilderness Act, which changed the status from U.S. National Monument to National  Historic Site and added the Nidoto Nai Yoni (Let It Not Happen Again) Memorial on Bainbridge Island, Washington to the monument.

There will also be a two-day symposium on Civil Liberties in Wartime at the College of Southern Idaho prior to the Pilgrimage. The theme is "Patriotism, Honor, and Sacrifice."  Speakers include Dr. Bob Sims (Minidoka history), Dr. David Adler (constitutional issues), Dr. Martin Cutler (Native Americans during the war), Larry Matsuda (poet), Dr. Linda Tamura (MIS), Dr. Brenda Lee Moore (Japanese American Women in the Military during WWII), and Prof. Eric Muller (draft resisters).

Registration is due by June 3, 2011.

To register and for hotel and registration information, please visit our website: http://minidokapilgrimage.org/ or email: minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com.



Related sites:
www.minidoka.org
www.MinidokaPilgrimage.org
http://minidokapilgrimage.org/mailto:minidokapilgrimage@gmail.comhttp://www.minidoka.org/http://www.MinidokaPilgrimage.org/shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3