Poston: People of Hope

They are people of hope… That is, the two peoples (the Japanese Americans of the Poston Community Alliance and the Colorado River Indian Tribes) are manifestations of hope.  Brought together by the respective injustices that were done to them and the hardships they have endured, these people work together out of a countenance of abiding hope.

First Day at Poston National Archives

[National Archives]

Tribal Council Chairman Henry Walsh DDA

[Densho Digital Archive]

They have a vision. Out in the middle of the desert, near the Arizona/California border, in an area unknown to most, they will build a historical site that will commemorate the imposition of the Camp upon the Indian Tribes, and the imprisonment within the WRA Camp of Americans of Japanese descent.

“The Poston Community Alliance strives to achieve the following:

  • Restore existing historic structures located at the Poston Camp I Elementary School Site, now a National Historic Landmark.
  • Build an interpretive center and museum.
  • Create a multicultural village to tell the stories of the incarcerated Japanese Americans and the Native Americans who shared a desert home during World War II.
  • Provide educational materials, including media arts projects, to inform the public of the Japanese American incarceration.”

[Poston Community Alliance Website]

They have a place in which to carry out their vision. Here, they will teach visitors what happened, how it came to be, what the Constitutional violations were, how people suffered and endured and built a new life, and why it must never happen again.

Poston Restoration Area

That place is fenced and protected so they can do their work…

Fenced 1

Perhaps the most ambitious job will be to somehow preserve the ruins of the Camp 1 Elementary School Auditorium.

Restoration Area 1

Restoring the barracks will show how people lived, in the midst of their captivity.

Barracks to Restore

People will come to the new Visitors Center (to be created in the restoration of this former classroom building) to learn about Poston.

A Place to Learn

Most important, they have each other… The Poston Community Alliance and the Colorado River Indian Tribes have each other as partners. That partnership is fueled by solidarity of experience, by obvious mutual respect, by dignity, and by tenacity. I am certain that they will succeed in their efforts together.

Thanks for coming along on this journey.  Next stop, in a few weeks, will be the WRA Camp Minidoka.

Grace and peace to you,

Art

 

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