Densho receives half a million in grants from U.S. Department of the Interior

Sen. Cantwell (left) and Congressman Jay Inslee (Photo provided by Maria Cantwell's office)

On June 23, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01) toured the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. They advocated for funding of the educational installation at the site.

The educational wall will tell the story of the first Japanese Americans rounded up during World War II and sent to internment camps from Eagledale Ferry Dock on Bainbridge Island.

About $262,980 will be put toward Densho’s Digital Archive System for Community Organizations, which will create an internet-accessible digital repository, where organizations can post collections related to confinement sites. Policies, tools, and training will be provided for four partner organizations to add about 40,000 objects to the repository, and a kit will be developed to help other organizations become future partners.

About $281,733 will be put toward Densho’s Teach the Teachers, which will create and distribute a curriculum resource package, set up an online learning community for teachers, and hold workshops to train 600 teachers in classroom strategies to enhance student learning about the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

“Eagledale Ferry Dock marks the beginning of one of the worst violations of constitutional rights in American history, which is why it is essential we learn from the past, so that we will never repeat it,” Cantwell said. “Completing the memorial’s educational wall will ensure that the stories of the first Japanese Americans interned during World War II are passed on for future generations. …”

“The memorial not only reminds us that we must learn from the mistakes of our past, but that we must honor those who suffered from those mistakes,” said Inslee. “I have been an advocate for this memorial for many years, and when the opportunity arose to write a letter of support to the National Park Service for these funds, I considered it an honor.” ♦

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