Poston Pilgrimage – Oct. 13-14, 2023
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, Duncan Ryūken Williams.
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.
Our newly-created Poston exhibit is housed 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 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
Vendors and Volunteers can email us at email@example.com.
Presented on Saturday – Oct. 14, 2023 at Le Pera School
Kathy Nakagawa – Poston Farm Labor 1 pm only
Katie Nuss - Poston Farm Labor 2:30 pm only
The development of agriculture was a priority in 1942 of the Office of Indian Affairs. The development of irrigation canals and agriculture on the Colorado River Tribes reservation is a result of Japanese American labor. Hear more about the intersection of the Japanese American and Native American communities at Poston.
Wayne Osako – Stamp Our Story: The Go for Broke Soldiers Forever Postage Stamp 1 pm / 2:30 pm
Hear behind the scenes stories of the USPS “Go for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WW2 Forever postage stamp” from Stamp Our Story Committee Chair Wayne Osako. The fifteen-year community campaign for the stamp overcame resistance by the US Postal Service to issue the stamp in 2021. The Committee now works to educate the public about the proud legacy of the Nisei Soldiers.
Janice Munemitsu – The Munemitsu & Mendez Family Stories 1 pm / 2:30 pm
Her book, 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.at. v Westminster and the desegregation of California public schools seven years before Brown V Board of Education.
Nancy Ukai – The Wakasa Monument: What It Is and Why It Matters 1 pm / 2:30 pm
The Wakasa Memorial Monument represents perhaps the most significant archaeological finding ever made in relation to the wartime Japanese American mass incarceration in the U.S. Built in defiance of direct orders from U.S. officials at the highest level, the monument is a bright beacon on the unjust murder of an unarmed man held in a concentration camp merely because of his race. The Issei immigrant voice in World War II history is the least understood and recorded so this symbol of protest, grief and resistance by our Japanese American immigrant ancestors is especially precious. Its importance is national, not merely limited to Utah, of Japanese American resistance against racial violence and the government’s intentional erasure of it.
Shane Sato – The Go for Broke Spirit 1 pm / 2:30 pm
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.
Reid Nishikawa – Construction of the Poston Memorial Monument 1 pm / 2:30 pm
Chairman of the Poston Memorial Monument Committee, Reid will tell the story of how the Poston monument evolved from pioneers Ted Kobata and Jim Namba from Sacramento, California. Plans for construction involved Tribal members and included unique construction methods.
Transportation from LA/OC
A bus will be provided for those traveling from Los Angele/Orange County s to Parker, Arizona. If you are interested in riding the bus, please email Kathy Takemoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.The cost will be $60.00 per person.
Blue Water Resort & Casino 11300 Resort Dr, Parker, AZ 85344 (888) 243-3360
Poston Pilgrimage . Booking ID:7189 . Rate: $109.00
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 2023 Poston Pilgrimage takes place on October 113-14, 2023
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: 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.
Q: Where do I sign up for the Workshops?
A: On your confirmation email at the bottom of the page will be an Eventbrite link to where you can choose your Workshops. Click here.