For more real-time updates, join our new Facebook group: All Things Amache facebook.com/groups/809799359625587/
Please provide input on new Amache Interpretive Plan
Sonoma State University received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to revise and update the Amache Interpretation Master Plan. An updated plan will more fully integrate the needs, perspectives, and voices of a stakeholder community that has substantially grown since the last plan was completed in 2007. Foundational themes will be contextualized in today’s reality and reframed to address the relevancy, urgency, and necessity of sharing the lessons that Japanese incarceration can offer to today’s social and political climate. Public meetings were held in October, but you can still provide input. Fill out the online form, or contact Dana Ogo Shew at: email@example.com; 818-601-9044.
In-person Amache Pilgimage scheduled for May 21, 2022
The Amache Pilgrimage is typically held each year on the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend, which will be May 21 in 2022. It was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19 but is currently planned for 2022, pending COVID-19 conditions. It is a day to remember those of Japanese descent who spent more than three years imprisoned on the plains of southern Colorado during World War II. For information, see the In-person Pilgrimage page.
The University of Denver’s Archaeology Field School will be back June 12-July 9, 2022
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. They will return in 2022 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. Archaeological work this summer is planned for Blocks 10G, 7E, and 12F and on the site of the high school. A community open house will be held from the evening of June 30-July 1 and will include tours of the archaeological site, individualized visits to barracks or other important locations in the camp, time to explore the new museum, and a group dinner. For more information regarding internships or volunteering opportunities, please contact Bonnie.Clark@du.edu
The Amache National Historic Site Act was signed into law on March 18, 2022
On Friday, March 18, 2022, President Biden signed the Amache National Historic Site Act, making Amache the 424th unit of the National Park System. For more details, see the Amache National Historic Site Act page, NPS Press Release, and NPS Amache NHS website.
Vail Public Library hosted The Story of Amache, March 2, 2022
On Wednesday, March 2, from 5:30-6:50 MT, Vail Public Library hosted a virtual presentation on The Story of Amache. The Amache Story program shared how people created a livable community behind barbed wire by blending a short presentation and discussion with a group of survivors. Today, survivors and descendants work to preserve and share this important part of our history. Since 2008 Denver University Amache Research Project has worked with the Amache community and town of Granada to conduct on site archaeological research. A panel of Amacheans supported a DU Amache Project presenter to share the history of the site and current research. For a review of the event, read the article in the Vail Daily.
National Day of Remembrance: 80 Years of Reckoning was held Feb 18-20, 2022
From February 18-20, the National Park Service, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and Heart Mountain Foundation co-hosted a virtual National Day of Remembrance: 80 Years of Reckoning. Amache Alliance participated in the panel on “Restorative Justice and Healing in Preservation and Interpretation Through Community Engagement” on Sunday Feb 20. For the full program and links to recordings, visit the National Museum of American History’s Day of Remembrance 2022 site.
Mile High JACL Virtual Day of Remembrance, Feb 19, 2022
The Mile High JACL hosted a virtual Day of Remembrance event on February 19, 2022. This year’s program honored the 5,000 Japanese Latin Americans living in Central and South America were deported from their homes and imprisoned in the US, justified by the US government as a matter of national security. Their fight for recognition and justice continues to this day. Keynote speakers were Grace Shimizu, an activist and leader in the JLA redress movement and Joe Ozaki, whose family was removed from Peru to Crystal City, Texas. You can watch a recording of the event on YouTube.
Amache National Historic Site Act passed the House and Senate!
On Monday, Feb 14, the Senate passed the Amache National Historic Site Act by unanimous consent. The House quickly approved their amendments, also by unanimous consent, on Feb 18, 2022. The bill is now on its way to President Biden for signature. Watch a recording of the virtual rountable discussion with the Secretary of the Interior, members of Congress, and Amache survivors and descendants on Feb 18, and view CBS news Colorado’s coverage of the delegation’s visit to Amache for the 80th Anniversary of the Day of Remembrance on Feb 19.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2497 on Thurs Nov 18, 2021
On Thursday Nov 18, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee voted on the Amache National Historic Site Act by voice vote. You can watch a recording at the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources Hearings and Business Meetings page.
Tadaima 2021 Recordings Still Available
Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage was developed in 2020 when most organized annual pilgrimages to WWII incarceration sites were cancelled due to COVID-19. It is an effort to provide a safe space for the Japanese American community and allies to learn, communicate and collaborate as they normally would during in-person pilgrimages. Tadaima 2020 focused on Japanese American history, from the 1800s to today. From August 29 – September 25, 2021 Tadaima 2021 was held, expanding upon Tadaima 2020 to address identity, indigeneity, and intersectionality as they relate to the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. The session “Resistance at Amache and the Road to Recognition” featured an overview of resistance at Amache and panel discussion, with special guest Susumu Yenokida, the last surviving Nisei draft resister from the Granada (Amache) concentration camp.
U.S. House of Representatives passed Amache National Historic Site Act on July 29, 2021
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. It passed the House Natural Resources Committee on July 14 and passed in the full House on July 29 with overwhelming support: 416 YES and 2 No. You can see the bill’s progress at congress.gov and read the Denver Post article about the vote.
House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2497 on Wed July 14, 2021
On Wednesday July 14, the full House Natural Resources Committee voted on the Amache National Historic Site Act via unanimous consent.
For more information, visit the House Natural Resources Committee website.
Virtual Amache Pilgrimage content still available!
The first Virtual Amache Pilgrimage was held June 11-13th and included a mix of videos, panel discussions, and interactive chats. The majority of programming was recorded and is still available online at https://www.jampilgrimages.com/2021-amache-virtual-pilgrimage.
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
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. The museum is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.