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Minidoka Pilgrimage

Sixty-nine years ago, almost 13,000 people of Japanese- ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes and sent to a desolate "incarceration camp" near Twin Falls, Idaho. On June 30 – July 3, 2011 former internees, their families, and friends will make a pilgrimage – from Seattle, Portland and across the nation – to the former Minidoka Internment Camp in Idaho.

The former internees spent nearly 3 years incarcerated at Minidoka and other camps over 60 years ago. Today, the site continues to hold a mixture of memories and strong emotions – feelings of denial, distrust, shame, and joy. They will revisit the place and the memories amidst family, friends, supporters, and National Park Service officials. The intent is to honor the first generation of Japanese Americans who suffered most under institutionalized racist laws, to deliver the message of "Never Again," and to pass on the legacy to anyone who will listen.

Today, most of the 33,000 acres that once made up Minidoka has been taken over by farms. However, in 2001, 73 acres along the North Side Canal, and near the entrance to Minidoka has been designated a National Monument.

The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese America Citizens League, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and the Friends of Minidoka invite former internees, their families and friends, and other interested persons to attend the 2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage from June 24 through June 27.

In Twin Falls, participants will have two chances to visit the grounds of the National Monument. On Saturday, there will be guided tours of what remains of the former site. On Sunday, a memorial service will be held at the National Monument to honor internees. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in workshops and forums during this time. Throughout the duration of the trip, there will be opportunities to share memories and stories with fellow participants.

If you would like information about travel from Portland to the Pilgrimage please contact:

Connie Masuoka
503-318-5839 or
cmasuoka@comcast.net

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