Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition Warns Against Signing Fraudulent Petition

The following is a statement by the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition.


Overhead view of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station
Photo: M.H. Scott, Officer In Charge, Tuna Canyon Detention Station
Courtesy David Scott and the Little Landers Historical Society(click above to view larger image)

LOS ANGELES — Please be aware that the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition is not connected to, and does not support, a petition calling for a Tuna Canyon memorial to be located across the street from the actual site of the detention station in any way, shape, or form.

This petition is being circulated by someone working for the 229-unit housing project proposed for the historic site, and not by any organization that is genuinely working to preserve the history of Tuna Canyon. We are working on plans for an on-site memorial, and other public amenities, in a regional park that would benefit the community, and the City of Los Angeles. We are hoping the owner will discuss selling the land at a fair market price to a public agency for these purposes.

During the Los Angeles City Council-mandated working group in 2013, both the landowner’s representatives, and the interested community, were represented. They reached a consensus that there would be a publicly accessible memorial on the site where the original detention station was located, and that included the grove of oak trees, which existed at the time that the detention station was in operation.

The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition supports this decision and believes this is the only appropriate site where a memorial should be located.

The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition is a non-profit organization, established in 2013, to preserve the story of Tuna Canyon, and especially of the Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants, Japanese taken from Peru, and others who were held there during World War II. It is the recipient of two National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites grants, one to tell the story of Tuna Canyon through our traveling museum exhibit, “Only the Oaks Remain,” and the other to preserve the video histories of Tuna Canyon descendants through our “The Legacy Project.” The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition has also undertaken extensive research on Tuna Canyon at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.

We urge everyone to refuse to sign this misleading “Tuna Canyon Memorial Partnership petition,” and we appreciate your continued support to preserve the history of Tuna Canyon at its rightful location.

Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition
Web site: http://www.tunacanyon.org
E-mail: remembertunaccanyon@gmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Tuna-Canyon-Detention-Station-356878631079498
Federal Tax ID: 47-0996062

If you want to help, please send comments to twitter, Facebook, your organizations, and news outlets. We need to be united in this effort to build a memorial on-site.

3 Responses to Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition Warns Against Signing Fraudulent Petition

  1. Tadashi Kishi says:

    Shortly after my father was hauled away by the FBI, our family didn’t know where he was being held. Finally, we found him behind the fence at the Tuna Canyon Detention Center. He looked confused and apologetic about his plight. I was told it was a former CC Camp before the war. It was later that we heard that the Issei were sent to the Federal Prison at Santa Fe, NM. My father never talked about his plight. Once a proud member of the Santa Monica Japanese community, was now mute and silent about his ordeal. I presume he was apologetic about the ordeal he had put the family through by coming to America for a better life. I had lost my father.

  2. Karen Zimmerman says:

    Thank you, Tadashi, for sharing your father’s story, representative of many others as well.

  3. Kerry Cababa says:

    Tadashi, your father may have come in contact with my grandfather, Shiro Fujioka, while at Tuna Canyon. He was taken there shortly after Dec. 7, 1941 and was one of the people who helped with translations. He was subsequently returned to the family which by then was in Santa Anita, then eventually they all ended up at Heart Mountain. He was in poor health after these ordeals, magnified by the loss of his son who fought with the 442 in France. Ted died about a week after the Rescue of the Lost Battalion.

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