National Park Service Grant Funds Films About WWII-Era Japanese-American Confinement Sites

National Park Service Grant Funds Films About WWII-Era Japanese-American Confinement Sites

National Park Service Grant Funds Films About WWII-Era Japanese-American Confinement Sites


By Debbie Gregory.

Full Spectrum Features, a Chicago-based non-profit film company that aims to educate the public about important social and cultural issues via the power of cinema, has received a grant to make two short films about the history of Japanese-American World War II incarceration that followed in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The project is funded by the National Park Service, which recently awarded nine grants of more than $1.3 million to projects that help preserve and interpret World II Japanese-American Confinement sites.

In 1942, almost 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes in California, western Oregon and Washington, and southern Arizona in the single largest forced relocation in U.S. history.

Many would spend the next 3 years in one of ten “relocation centers” across the country.

The scripted films will focus on the resettlement and draft resistance of Japanese Americans.

“We think it’s important to have dramatic narrative scripted films about this history because Hollywood doesn’t make World War II films that feature Asian-Americans as the protagonists,” said Eugene Sun Park, Full Spectrum’s executive director.

The filmmakers are working with the Heart Mountain Foundation in Wyoming. Established in 1996, the foundation has worked to preserve and memorialize the site and events, educate the general public about the Japanese American incarceration and support research about the incarceration so that future generations can understand the lessons of the Japanese American incarceration experience. The site of the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center is considered to retain the highest integrity of the ten incarceration centers constructed during the war.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt stated towards war end “to undo a mistake is always harder than not to create one originally but we seldom have the foresight. …every citizen in this country has a right to our basic freedoms, to justice and to equality of opportunity.”

In 1988 and 1992 Congress passed laws to apologize to Japanese Americans for the injustices during the war and to pay compensation to survivors of the camps and their descendants.


Trump Taps Retired Navy Seal for Secretary of the Interior

Digital Communications Director

By Debbie Gregory.

President-elect Donald Trump has officially nominated Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke the job of interior secretary.

Zinke, 55, a retired Navy SEAL, was an early supporter of Trump. He’s been mentioned as a possible challenger to Montana’s Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.

Zinke said he is honored by the nomination, describing himself “as someone who grew up in a logging and rail town and hiking in Glacier National Park.”

The Montana congressman pledged to “faithfully uphold Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that our treasured public lands are ‘for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.’ I will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come.”

The U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources. The Secretary is a member of the President’s Cabinet.

The department oversees such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Park Service. The Secretary also serves on and appoints the private citizens on the National Park Foundation board.

Because the policies and activities of the Department of the Interior and many of its agencies have a substantial impact in the western United States,  the Secretary of the Interior has typically come from a western state (a state lying west of the Mississippi River.)

While Zinke’s nomination drew praise from  business groups, environmentalists blasted it.

Independent Petroleum Association of America President and CEO Barry Russell said in a statement. “As a conservationist hailing from the energy-producing state of Montana, Congressman Zinke understands the critical role that the Interior Department plays in balancing the effective management of our nation’s lands and waters with multiple use policies that open access to the public for conservation, recreational opportunities, job-creating economic activities, and safe, responsible energy development.”

Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council said that “without a doubt, Rep. Zinke adds another fossil fuel champ to Trump’s a pro-polluter Cabinet. While Zinke has opposed selling off our public lands, his record falls way short of being able to meet the full mission of the Interior Department. That is to manage and protect our wildlife, our public lands and waters, and our cultural heritage for the benefit of all Americans, today and tomorrow. It is also to uphold and honor our responsibilities to indigenous people in America. That is the job and Zinke is the wrong person for the role.”

Trump’ pick will replace former REI CEO & former Mobil Oil engineer Sally Jewell, who was appointed by Barack Obama.

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