Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dig Unearths Kooskia Internment Camp

Dr. Stacey Camp
UI Anthropologist to Discuss Archeology Project at Library Oct. 9
Dr. Stacey Camp has been at work at the site of the Kooskia Japanese Internment Camp since 2009 with an archeological project that’s yielding historical artifacts.
She will discuss her work Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m., during a lecture and slideshow at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. The program is sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council with additional support from the Friends of the Library.
Built on the site of a former federal prison work camp -- Canyon Creek Prison Camp, the camp, located about 30 miles east of the town of Kooskia, housed 256 male Japanese internees between May 1943 and 1945 as part of a national policy that imprisoned more than 120,000 individuals of Japanese heritage during WWII.
Internees were charged with the daunting and dangerous task of completing the construction of Highway U.S. 12 between Idaho and Montana. Besides being a relatively neglected and remote site of Japanese confinement, Kooskia Internment Camp represents the U.S. government's first attempt to use internees as a work force, Camp said.
In addition, many of the Japanese occupants of the camp were forcibly removed by the United States government from Latin American countries such as Peru, Mexico, and Panama.
Camp is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Idaho. She is an historical archaeologist who specializes in the archaeology of the late 19th and early 20th century Western United States.
Her current research interests include the archaeology of race, racialization, and social inequality, the archaeology of institutional confinement, heritage tourism and leisure studies, domestic reform movements and Americanization campaigns aimed at immigrant populations, and archaeological applications of GIS. She has excavated on archaeological projects in both the Western United States and Ireland. She is also in the process of setting up a faculty-led study abroad program in Nepal.
She recently completed her manuscript, “The Archaeology of Citizenship” (published by the University Press of Florida), which explores the interplay between consumption, citizenship, and national identity in historic America.
The Idaho Humanities Council a nonprofit organization that serves as the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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