Anthropologist Talks About Japanese Internment Camp, in Coeur d'Alene

By Tom Bacon

A University of Idaho anthropologist will be in Coeur d' Alene October 9th to talk about her work in unearthing a small, obscure Japanese internment camp built near the Nez Perce Indian reservation.

Doctor Stacy Camp has been sifting the soil near Kooskia Idaho for the past four years, hunting for artifacts left behind by about 250 Japanese men forced into the camp during World War Two. The internment camp was small and remote - virtually forgotten in the years after the war, unlike giant sites where thousands of internees were penned up, such as the Minidoka camp further south in Idaho.
Camp said there are no buildings, signs or other markers to pinpoint the site, but she's found broken porcelain, old medicine bottles and lost artwork.

Camp said the U-S government also used the men housed at the Kooskia Internment Camp as laborers to build U-S Highway 12 which snakes up through rugged mountains to Lolo Pass on the Montana border. It wasn't slave labor - Japanese men could earn 50 or 60 dollars a month on the dangerous construction work.

Camp thinks her work at the site could take another decade as she tries to create an accurate picture of life in the camp.She said "we want people to know what happened and to make sure we don't repeat the past". Camp's presentation Wednesday is scheduled at 7 pm in the Coeur d' Alene public library. Her appearance is sponsored by the Idaho Humanities Council,
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