Remembering the Santa Fe Japanese Internment Camp

It’s a part of New Mexican history that few are aware of and no one talked about at the time. According to the Department of Justice, from March 1942 to April 1946, the Santa Fe Internment Camp held 4,555 men of Japanese ancestry. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the US Government arrested and imprisoned thousands of Japanese-American men branding them “dangerous enemy aliens.” Incarcerated without trial, they were forced to leave behind their families along with everything they knew and loved.

Professor of Literature Gail Okawa, renowned photographer Patrick Nagatani, and southwestern artist Jerry West share their family’s stories about the Santa Fe camp. Highlighted are original family photographs along with rare photographs of the camp loaned by Brian Minami of manymountains.org. Featured is Japanese flute music performed by Andrea McQuate.

LESSON PLAN (PDF)

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