Poston Pilgrimage – Oct. 21-22, 2022
The Poston Pilgrimage is an opportunity to learn more about the Poston Incarceration Camp, where approximately 18,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Visit the current Poston site, learn of our preservation efforts, attend our various workshop and hear from our keynote speaker, Janice Munemitsu.
In collaboration with the CRIT Tribal Council, we are upholding the memories of camp life and highlighting the significant links and relationships between the Japanese American incarcerates and members of the tribal community.
This year we will showcase our newly-created Poston exhibit within the Museum of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The Tribe has generously donated space for our Poston Community Alliance exhibit. It features a map of Poston’s three camps where visitors can locate the exact barrack and apartment where their family resided.
The pilgrimage is organized by the Poston Community Alliance, which is actively working to preserve the stories, artifacts, and historic structures of Poston, a World War II Concentration Camp, located on the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) reservation.
The registration fee includes museum viewing, Poston site visits, workshops, lunch and the banquet. Once you have registered for the Pilgrimage, an Eventbrite link will be sent to you to schedule your workshops and Poston exhibit viewing time. To find where the links are in the email, scroll to end of this page.
This year capacity is limited to 150 people due to event facility changes.
Vendors and Volunteers can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, October 21, 2022
10:00 am Registration Desk Opens
1:00 - 6:00 pm Poston Exhibit Viewings Begin (Every ½ hour)
2:00 - 4:30 pm Workshops at Blue Water
7:00 - 9:00 pm Camp Gatherings and Block Assignment Family Listings
Saturday, October 22, 2022
9:30 - 10:15 am Opening Ceremony at Museum
10:30 am Bus Tours to Poston Monument and Adobe Classrooms
Noon - 12:45 pm Lunch in La Pera School
1:00 - 5:30 pm Poston Exhibit Viewings Begin (Every ½ hour)
1:30 - 3:30 pm Workshops at Blue Water
6:00 pm Banquet with Keynote Speaker, Janet Munemitsu
Janice Munemitsu – Putting Together Your Family Story
Drawing on her experiences of writing her book, The Kindness of Color, the author will describe her journey of uncovering family artifacts and documents and doing research to compile her family history. The Kindness of Color follows two immigrant families facing separate battles with racism in WWII-era Southern California. Unexpectedly, their paths intertwine, ultimately paving the way for the landmark court case Mendez, et. al v. Westminster and the desegregation of California public schools seven years before Brown v. Board of Education. Friday & Saturday.
Nancy Urai – Poston Nameplates
Nancy Ukai is the Lead Project Director of "50 Objects/50 Stories of the American Japanese Incarceration," a project made up of 50 objects that each give a raw, true narrative of the exclusion and confinement of 120,000 American Japanese during World War II. She will be giving a presentation on Poston artifacts, specifically Poston Nameplates. Friday & Saturday
Barbara Darden - Poston Preservation
Barbara Darden, who specializes in Historic Preservation, Rehabilitation, and Historic Architecture, has been working with the Poston Community Alliance over ten years. She has been involved in Poston projects such as barrack relocation, adobe classroom stabilization of Poston Camp I and the library restoration. She will speak of ongoing Poston preservation projects as well as future plans for Poston’s preservation. Saturday.
Duncan Ryuken Williams – The Irei Memorial Monument at Poston.
The Irei: National Monument for the WWII Japanese American Incarceration is a project based at the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture and led by its director Professor Duncan Ryuken Williams, who notes that the project “draws on Japanese Buddhist and Japanese American cultural traditions of honoring ancestors not simply through building monuments of remembrance, but monuments to repair the racial karma of America.” This workshop will present the original concept, funding source, design of the monument and vision for Poston. Saturday.
Shane Sato - The Go For Broke Spirit
Shane Sato, a professional photographer based in Los Angeles, started working on this project 20 years ago. Sato shared that his inspiration was his family, as his own mother was incarcerated at Poston during World War II. However, as a child, Sato’s family never discussed the war and how it affected his parents. Sato’s goal in making this project was to help other families start discussions about their experiences during WWII, as he was not able to do with his own. Saturday
Blue Water Resort & Casino 11300 Resort Dr, Parker, AZ 85344 (888) 243-3360
Hampton Inn 1110 S Geronimo Ave, Parker, AZ 85344 (928) 669-1000
Best Western 1012 S Geronimo Ave, Parker, AZ 85344 (928) 669-6060
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is the Poston Pilgrimage?
A: The Pilgrimage is a gathering of those who wish to pay honor to all those who were incarcerated and to learn more about the history of the Poston Incarceration Site. The Poston Community Alliance has planned educational workshops, exhibits and a banquet for the Poston Pilgrimage.
Q: When does the Poston Pilgrimage take place?
A: The 2022 Poston Pilgrimage takes place on October 21-22, 2022
Q: Do participants need to register or make reservations? Is there a fee?
A: Yes, registration and a fee are required to attend.
Q: Where is the Poston Pilgrimage held?
A: The Poston Pilgrimage will be held at the Blue Water Resort & Casino in Parker, AZ and at various Poston sites on the Colorado River Tribes Reservation.
Q: Do I need to sign up to view the Poston exhibit?
A : Yes. Attendees will need to select a specific time to view the exhibit. Because of limited space within the Poston exhibit area, attendees will be admitted ONLY during their assigned time. Be sure to sign up!
Q: Is bus transportation to the Pilgrimage available?
A: Yes. Registration covers bus transportation from the CRIT Museum in Parker to the Poston Memorial Monument, Poston Camp I Site, La Pera Elementary School for lunch and workshops, returning to Parker for the evening banquet at the Blue Water Resort & Casino.
Q: Are food and drinks available at Poston Pilgrimage?
A: Registration includes ONLY the box lunch, and the banquet dinner.
Q: What is the weather like in Poston during the Pilgrimage?
A:In October, the Poston area can reach 90 degrees. Bring a hat, sunscreen and lip balm and USE THEM, even if it's cloudy, as ultraviolet light penetrates clouds and is rather intense at higher elevations. Also, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER while you’re there. STAY HYDRATED EVEN IF THE WEATHER IS MILD. The air is much drier at higher elevations.
Q: Is there a religious service during the Pilgrimage?
A: The Pilgrimage's opening ceremony will include blessings from both a Christian minister and a Buddhist priest.
Q: Can we collect items found on the site as souvenirs or for other purposes?
A: NO. Collecting anything from the site is forbidden even if it looks like it was just trash. Many such items are actually historic. As the saying goes, “Take only photographs. Leave only footprints.”
Q: Can I drive myself?
A ; Poston attendees are required to use provided bus transportation to be boarded at the CRIT Museum area in Parker. Attendees will need to drive from their hotel to board the buses. Parking is very limited at the Poston sites.
To find the Eventbrite links for the Poston exhibit at CRIT Museum and Workshops, scroll to the end of your Poston Pilgrimage Eventbrite receipt confirmation email