Ft. Lincoln, ND Civil Liberties Justice Center One Step Closer

The United Tribes Technical College, whose campus encompasses the former Fort Lincoln Internment Camp near Bismarck, North Dakota, has completed a Condition and Feasibility Assessment that provides recommendations to rehabilitate a former hospital and the hospital steward’s quarters for preservation and reuse. The study was funded with a 2013 grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program, administered by the National Park Service.

According to the NPS report on completed grants; “the five federally recognized tribes in North Dakota own and operate the tribal college at the former DOJ [Department of Justice] camp and want to convert these two buildings into a Civil Liberties and Justice Center,” housing educational and archival components not only of the WW II era, but also of the parallel experiences of American Indians. The goal is “to reflect on the many layers of history at the site and explore common themes of loss of freedom and civil rights, confinement, and relocation, while connecting these to contemporary debates about individual rights and national security.”

In 2010 members of GAIC met with leaders from the Japanese American community and tribal leaders in Bismarck, ND, to plan an appropriate memorial on the Fort Lincoln site, one that would honor not only WW II internees, but also the rich and varied history of the site itself. A smaller group met again in January 2011, to refine the mission statement, values, and goals of the project. Past meetings were funded by NPS JACS grants.