POWELL (WNE) — Sam Mihara, who was incarcerated at Heart Mountain as a child, has received a grant from the Wyoming Humanities Council to travel around the state and teach about Japanese American incarceration. 

A board member of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, the 90-year-old Mihara is an award-winning educator who also received the 2022 Japanese American of the Biennium Award from the Japanese American Citizens League. 

Since he started speaking about his incarceration experience in 2011, he has delivered his presentations in person to more than 95,000 people. 

The Wyoming Humanities grant covers three trips to take place in August, September and October this year. He will visit Gillette, Buffalo, Sheridan, Jackson, Pinedale, Rock Springs and Evanston and is now considering a tour of the southeast sector of Wyoming, including Laramie and Cheyenne. 

He will also be at Heart Mountain in June and July as a faculty member for Heart Mountain’s workshops for educators, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is also scheduled to speak during a visit by the Bar Association of the District of Columbia and attend the annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage. 

His work is part of the larger educational mission of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, which includes in-person and virtual field trips to the museum and interpretive center. 

The foundation is also building the new Mineta-Simpson Institute dedicated to spreading the sense of public service and bipartisanship exemplified by Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Sen. Alan Simpson, who first met as Boy Scouts behind the barbed wire at Heart Mountain in 1943.


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