2.21.2008

a shared history, 66 years later

This week marks the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which ordered the removal and relocation of 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast to internment camps in remote areas of the United States during World War II—Manzanar, Tule Lake, Topaz and elsewhere. It was an unlawful, xenophobic response to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. We know this.

But in a little known piece of the internment story, the U.S. government also sent nearly 20,000 Japanese Americans to three camps on a Colorado River Indian Tribe reservation at Poston, Arizona with an explicit plan to use the internees to help develop tribal lands for later Indian use. Here's a story on the Japanese Americans and Native Americans the relocation impacted, 66 years later: Celebrating a shared history.