Group 1 from the 2022 educator workshops in front of Heart Mountain. (Photo courtesy of Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation)

POWELL, Wyo. – The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation has received a grant from the National Endowment of Humanities to conduct workshops for 72 teachers from around the country for the third consecutive year.

The workshops will take place in the summer of 2023 and will focus on the unjust treatment of minority groups in the West and the incarceration of Japanese Americans in Wyoming during World War II.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced Aug. 17 that Heart Mountain has been awarded a $189,486 grant for its workshop “Echoes of History: Mistreatment and Incarceration in the American West” as part of its Landmarks in American History and Culture program. The grant will bring teachers from across the nation to Park County for two one-week place-based education workshops exploring the history of the Heart Mountain camp.

Participants will learn from former incarcerees and recognized scholars of Western history and the Japanese American incarceration. During the course of the week, they will develop lessons and activities to take back to their classrooms.

The team developing the program includes master teacher Tyson Emborg, a high school history teacher at Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Ray Locker, Heart Mountain’s editorial consultant and project director.

In the announcement, NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo), said: “NEH is proud to support the many scholars, curators, storytellers, filmmakers, and teachers who are helping preserve, examine, and share the country’s rich and expansive history and culture. From books and documentaries to the preservation of cultural heritage materials, these 226 exceptional projects will foster the exchange of ideas and increase access to humanities knowledge, resources, and experiences.”

This is the second workshop theme for which Heart Mountain has received a Landmarks in American History and Culture grant. The first, “Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and the Japanese American Incarceration,” was conducted virtually in 2021 and in-person this year. In spite of the challenges posed by COVID-19, the workshops were a resounding success.

“The educators who participate in these workshops are tremendous influencers who can amplify the work we are doing here at Heart Mountain,” says Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Interim Executive Director Aura Sunada Newlin. “We are particularly excited about the 2023 theme, which helps us place Japanese American incarceration in the wider context of historic power dynamics.”

These teacher workshops are key to the long-range vision of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. In July, the foundation broke ground for The Mineta-Simpson Institute at Heart Mountain, a planned addition to Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. Named for lifelong friends Sen. Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming and Secretary Norman Y. Mineta of California, the new wing will be a dedicated space to host groups and workshops like these. Heart Mountain has raised more than $7 million for the construction of the Mineta-Simpson Institute.

Applications for the 2023 workshops will open on Nov. 1 and close on March 1, 2023.

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation preserves the site between Cody and Powell where nearly 14,000 Japanese Americans were confined during World War II, and operates Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. For more information about the planned teacher workshops, visit www.heartmountain.org or call Heart Mountain Interpretive Center at (307) 754-8000.

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