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Heart Mountain hopes to teach local educators about the incarceration of Japanese Americans there

group of people circle around man in middle. Side of brick building to left and mountains far in the distance.
Photo courtesy of Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.
Sam Mihara leading a group of educators during a previous workshop.

In memory of the 80th anniversary of the executive order that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Centeris hosting a professional development workshop. It's meant to educate teachers on how incarceration affected this population.

Heart Mountain, which is just outside of Cody, is one of the number of places where Japanese Americans from across the country were sent after the order was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1941. This wasn't taught in schools until recently.

The center hosts public events and workshops year-round to raise awareness but executive director Dakota Russell said this time around they wanted to focus locally and make sure that educators in Montana and Wyoming have a chance to learn about the camp's impacts.

The workshop is open to all educators from both states.

"We've seen middle school and high school teachers that teach this as part of World War II units or teach it as part of civil rights and civics units," said Russell. "People have tied this to their teaching about the Constitution. And so we have found that there are a multitude of ways to approach this and sometimes not even from a history-based sampling."

The free workshop will let participants interact with the camp and engage with people who were incarcerated. It will be held on February 19. There is no deadline to apply but space is limited.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. She has won a regional Murrow award for her reporting on mental health and firearm owners. During her time leading the Wyoming Public Media newsroom, reporters have won multiple PMJA, Murrow and Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism Awards. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.

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