Support the Amache National Historic Site Act (H.R. 2497/S. 1284)
Bills were introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to designate Amache as a new unit of the National Park System. The National Parks Conservation Association has put together information to help you take action by urging your Senators and Representatives to cosponsor the Amache National Historic Site Act. Please make sure to personalize your message when you contact your members of Congress requesting their support. Learn more about each bill below.
On April 21, 2021, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper introduced legislation to establish the Amache National Historic Site as part of the National Park System. This complements the bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week. Learn more from the press release. You can track the bill’s progress at congress.gov.
On April 14, 2021, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands and Congressman Ken Buck introduced bipartisan legislation to designate Amache as a National Historical Site. Learn more from this story in the Colorado Sun. You can track the bill’s progress at congress.gov.
National Park Service Special Resource Study Public Comment Period is open until June 30, 2021
Concurrent to the Amache National Historic Site Act, the National Park Service is conducting a Special Resource Study to determine whether Amache meets the criteria to become a new national park. They need to hear from as many people as possible why it is important for Amache to become a National Park site. You can provide public comments through June 30, 2021 by filling out the online form or sending written comments. More information about the Special Resource Study is available on the NPS park planning site, through the NPS Amache Special Resource Study Newsletter, and at https://amache.org/site-planning/.
Virtual Amache Pilgrimage will be held June 11-13, 2021
The first Virtual Amache Pilgrimage will be held June 11-13th. For more details, visit the Pilgrimage page. To access the programs, visit https://www.jampilgrimages.com/2021-amache-virtual-pilgrimage. There are films and pre-recorded videos available now. The scheduled programs will go live at the listed times. Some of the group discussions suggest or require registration, which is open now. Be sure to sign up, we’ll see you online!
The University of Denver’s Archaeology Field School has been POSTPONED until 2022, pending health and safety conditions
DU’s Amache Project typically offers its biennial Field School in the summer of years ending in even numbers. In the interest of safety, the planned 2020 DU Amache field school was postponed. Due to stringent safety protocols, the field school has now been postponed to the summer of 2022, when they will return to Amache and the Amache museum for a seventh field school in historical archaeology and museum studies. The field school is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school interns and volunteers with family ties to the site are also welcome. More information will be added here when available.
Amache Virtual Community Roundtable was held April 23, 2021
A virtual community roundtable discussion with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), and U.S. Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo.) was held on April 23 to discuss the Amache National Historic Site Act, legislation to establish Amache as part of the National Park System. Community leaders and Amache descendants also spoke about what this legislation means to them personally as well as to the future of our nation. You can watch the recording on Senator Bennett’s facebook page.
H.R. 2497 Legislative Hearing, April 21, 2021
This #NationalParkWeek, the Amache National Historic Site Act (H.R. 2497) was among the legislation that was heard by the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee. For the full list of bills, visit the Natural Resources Committee page.You can watch a recording of the hearing on their YouTube Channel.
March 24, 2021, NPCA Virtual Park Talk on Amache
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) hosted a Virtual Park Talk supporting the potential creation of a new national park in Colorado at Amache. In this Park Talk, Tracy Coppola (NPCA Colorado Program Manager) and Elliot Richardson (NPCA Cultural Resources Analyst), explained the importance of honoring and preserving this place for future generations and how you can take action. Special guests included Bonnie Clarke (Professor of Anthropology and University of Denver Amache Project Director) and Amache descendants Mitch Homma (Vice President on the Board of Managers for the American Baptist Historical Society) and Derek Okubo (Executive Director of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships City and County of Denver). A recording of the talk is available via their Park Talks page.
Amache Special Resource Study Featured in Colorado Sun
On February 5, 2021, the Colorado Sun published a story about the process to determine whether Amache may become part of the National Park System and delays due to COVID-19. It provides additional context about the Special Resource Study process and background on Amache, and includes a short audio segment.
Background materials to help prepare your comments for NPS available online
To help you prepare comments for the NPS Special Resource Study, Amache Historical Society II held a virtual preparation session on July 11, 2020. They reviewed the four criteria for Amache to qualify as a new NPS site and how to make sure your responses to the five questions address those criteria and are most impactful. You can watch a recording of the presentation, view the slides, or refer to the AHSII special newsletter for additional details to help you prepare comments for NPS.
Programming still available for TADAIMA! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage
The annual pilgrimage to Amache and other sites of wartime Japanese American incarceration were canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the significance of these pilgrimages, a virtual community pilgrimage was organized by the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages. They hosted TADAIMA! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage from June 13-August 16, 2020. Except for the Films of the Week, most of the content is still available via the TADAIMA! page.
If you missed any of the past Amache programming, all the panels and presentations were recorded and are still available. Here are some offerings about Amache or that feature Amache incarcerees (for automatic closed captioning, look for the cc button on the bottom right hand side of the videos–it is available for most of the videos):
- Week 1: Tues Jun 16 An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache
- Week 2: Sat Jun 27 Ask an Archaeologist Panel Discussion
- Week 5: Tues Jul 14 The Heritage of Sport: An Overview of the University of Denver Amache Project
- Week 6: Film of the Week Seed: The Life of the Rice King and his Kin
- Sun July 19 Blossoms and Thorns: A Community Uprooted Film Screening and Q&A with panelist Flora Ninomiya
- Tues July 21 Bonsai at Camp Amache
- Sat July 25 Nikkei Block Party Discussion of Terminal Island includes panelist Min Tonai, starting around 1:09:00
- Week 7: Sat Aug 1 Amache Site Tour
- Week 8: Sun Aug 2 Amache Elder Panel featuring Ken Kitajima, Sherman Kishi, and Margarette Murakami. Sherman was having some sound challenges, so be sure to use the closed captioning function.
- Week 9: Sun Aug 9 Amache Field School: Amache Kids Search for their Past featuring Carlene Tinker, Gary Ono, and Dennis Fujita
New Amache Museum is Open!
Exhibits have moved to the new Amache Museum at 205 E. Goff Ave. It is usually open five days a week in the summer. During the school year, it is open on demand Mon-Sat. All tours must be private tours and face masks please. Contact the Granada School at 719-734-5492 or email email@example.com to schedule a visit.
New Book on the Gardens of Amache Now Available
A new book, Finding Solace in the Soil An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache, is now available. It summarizes work of the University of Denver Amache Project over 6 field seasons and 15 years of community collaboration. Combining physical evidence with oral histories and archival data and enriched by the personal photographs and memories of former Amache incarcerees, the book describes how gardeners cultivated community in confinement. You can learn more about the book and order it through the University Press of Colorado. You can also watch a 1.5 hour long colloquium presentation about the book. It includes a powerpoint illustrated lecture and a Q&A session including Amache survivors who have worked on the DU Amache project.
Amache Wood Carvings featured in JANM Contested Histories Episode 3 on May 23, 2020
Nancy Ukai, Project Director of 50 Objects/Stories, joined Clement Hanami of the Japanese American National Museum for a presentation and Q & A as part of the exhibit Contested Histories, Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection. Her presentation showcases a series of wood carvings, most made at Amache. Watch the episode on YouTube.
Discussion with Amache Survivor Preserved by Story Corps
On March 1, 2020 Julia Tinker recorded a discussion with her mother, Amache survivor Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker during the Story Corps mobile tour. They talked about their experiences as Japanese Americans, including cultural traditions passed down through generations and experiences with racism. Carlene also recalled the power of standing in the location of her living quarters at Amache the first time she returned as an adult. Listen to their full interview archived on Story Corps.
TBK Bank Donates Building for New Amache Museum
The TBK Bank, SSB, donated its building in Granada to the Granada School District to be used as the new location for the Amache Museum. A key handing ceremony was held on December 12, 2019.
JA Confinement Sites Featured in National Campaign
The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) recently released their fifteenth annual thematic report of threatened and at-risk landscapes. Due to the urging of the Japanese American Confinement Site Consortium (JACSC), the World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites are one of 10 national landscapes identified in the 2018 campaign and are featured on a TCLF microsite, A Surrender to Fear Itself: The Landscapes of Japanese American Confinement. The campaign, titled Landslide 2018: Grounds for Democracy, aims to “draw immediate and lasting attention to these threatened and unique sites by making them visible, revealing their value, and promoting public engagement in the form of advocacy and stewardship.”
Amache sustained major hail damage on July 29, 2018
A hailstorm on July 29 delivered baseball-sized hail driven by 70 mph winds, resulting in damage at the Amache site, research center, and other buildings/structures in Granada. The barracks building on the Amache site lost 65 of its small-pane windows, there was also damage to the water tower and guard tower. The research center also lost many windows, needed to be re-roofed, and needs new fencing. Amache Preservation Society was able to secure the buildings, protect all artifacts, and perform crucial repairs. Thanks to the outpouring of support from the Amache community, immediate costs were covered, but larger repairs are still ongoing. Members of APS are also volunteering their time and assistance to Granada community members whose homes, vehicles, and other property sustained major damage.
You can send tax-deductible donations directly to the Amache Preservation Society or through our PayPal Donate button.
Order 9066 Podcast Series now available
APM reports and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently released Order 9066, a podcast series chronicling the history of the Japanese-American incarceration through vivid, first-person accounts. It is narrated by Sab Shimono and Pat Suzuki, veteran actors and stage performers incarcerated at Amache.
Original Recreation Hall Moved Back to Amache
The 11-F Recreation Hall was moved back to its original Amache foundation from the town of Granada in time for the annual May Amache pilgrimage. Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) documented the process with a media crew to share the experience. Several local and international media outlets also publicized articles about moving the rec hall back to Amache. The area around the rec hall was one of the archaeological sites studied this year by the Denver University Field School. Aside from moving the rec hall, the larger project included the addition of fences around the water and guard towers, lighting the water tower, and adding a historic searchlight, comparable to the original, to the guard tower.
All Ten National JAMF Student Videos Now Available
The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation‘s Digital Storytelling Project trained high school students in video production to tell stories of the 10 internment camp sites. The videos are now available on the NJAMF website. Amache’s digital story was produced by Halle Sousa, who participated in DU’s 2016 Archaeology Field School. Check out Halle’s video.
Sonoma State University Hosts Special Collections for Amache
Sonoma State University’s North Bay Ethnic Digital Collection features photographs of daily life at the Amache Relocation Center in Colorado, home to over 7,000 interned Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II, many of them from the North Bay. Sonoma State University Professor Emeritus Robert Fuchigami was an internee in the Amache Relocation Center and wrote the descriptions for many of the items in the Collection, which began as a grant-funded project and part of the University Library’s North Bay Ethnic Archive. The collection can be accessed online at https://northbaydigital.sonoma.edu/digital/collection/nbedc.
DU Honored by Society for Historical Archaeology
The DU Archaeology Field School was recognized for promoting diversity in the discipline at the Society for Historical Archaeology conference in January, 2017. The field school is typically offered every two years (in even years) and is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school internship and volunteer opportunities are available for those with family ties to the site. A Community Open House for those with personal or family connections to Amache and a Public Open House open to everyone are held each season. Congratulations, Dr. Bonnie Clark!
Smithsonian Youth Summit on JA Incarceration Now Available
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Japanese American National Museum held a National Youth Summit on Japanese American incarceration in World War II on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 from 1–2 PM EDT. The recording of the full webcast is now available on the Smithsonian’s website.
Oral History Project Seeks Ghost Stories from Internment Camps
The Minidoka Ghost Stories project is seeking stories of ghosts, hauntings, and the strange from the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and is an opportunity to hear and to share a unique aspect of the internment experience. These stories not only provide an alternative inroad to Japanese American history, but also, in the analysis of their telling, provide insights into our culture, our values, and our legacy. Though Minidoka is specified in the project’s title, they are interested in hearing stories associated with ANY of the camps. To learn more about the project or to contribute, visit the project’s facebook page or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum exhibit on Amache available to travel
A student and community curated exhibit, Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection is now available to travel. Connecting the Pieces features objects from the DU Amache Research Project that help tell the story of Japanese American internment during World War II. Interested in bringing the dialogue to your local museum, library, or community center? Download the flier or contact Anne Amati for more information.