Snow Country Prison Memorial at Bismarck

Funded in part by:

National Parks Service

Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium  


Ikusa hate-shi                       The war has ended—
Nao yugiguni no                   But I’m still in
Takkyo kana                          The snow country prison
—Itaru Ina, prisoner at Bismarck, ca.1945
“This is important work, to not only recognize what happened to our Japanese American relatives, but to ourselves. This memorial will show that we’re still here, that we’ve survived and that now we need to move ahead.”
—Dr. Leander McDonald, UTTC President


The Snow Country Prison Memorial at Bismarck is scheduled to break ground at the United Tribes Technical College in late 2022. This unique partnership between UTTC and the Japanese American community has been in progress for over a decade. The memorial will share the Japanese American experience at Fort Lincoln and carry forward the spirit of gambatte across generations and cultures.

For over 50 years, Japanese Americans who were interned (or their relatives) have visited UTTC. In collaboration with UTTC leadership, they have performed ceremonies, orchestrated name rubbings, and found moments of healing on this reclaimed land. The memorial will enable a growth in participation and awareness of the site and the history it contains.

The memorial committee includes members of the United Tribes Technical College and the Japanese American community, including direct descendants of former Bismarck prisoners.

UTTC and its Japanese American community partners are now seeking the remaining funding (approx $) for the memorial. Donate here.