Indians laud WWII Japanese American internees who developed their land
Under the plan, the Japanese Americans helped clear lands and build irrigation systems, started farms and built schools from handmade adobe bricks. Their work in developing a reservation that previously had no electricity, running water or modern homes--many families lived in mud huts--laid the foundation for the tribe to jump-start its standard of living and thrive financially, said Michael Tsosie, director of the tribal museum.
Now, 66 years ago today after then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the relocation, the two peoples are deepening their shared bonds.
Last week, Native Americans and two dozen former Japanese American internees gathered in Poston to memorialize their experiences and view a new documentary about it, "Passing Poston," by New York filmmakers Joe Fox and James Nubile. They also discussed plans to restore some of the barracks, seek national historical landmark status for the site and build a museum about their shared history.