Sunday, November 18, 2012

Aleut Internment Camps: The untold US atrocity






The horrible and untold story of Aleuts forced into US internment camps is told in 'Aleut Story' now on public television stations

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Now available in Russian!
http://mixednews.ru/archives/27384

The horrible and untold story of Aleuts who were forcibly taken from their homes in Alaska and placed in US internment camps during World War II, is told in the Aleut Story.

Aleut survivor Harriet Hope, interned at Burnett Inlet Duration Camp, "The story was never told. It was purposely held secret."

The film, showing this week on public television, reveals the ever-present death in these camps, where disease was rampant, from boils, to tuberculosis. Aleut were placed in damp and rotting buildings for years, with little food or medicine.

Aleut survivor Mary Bourdukofsky, interned at Funter Bay Duration Camp said, "We really didn’t know where they were going to take us."

"American citizens were starving, were dying," said Aleut survivor Jake Lestenkof, interned at Funter Bay Duration Camp.

Aleut waited for weeks, then months, then years to return to their home islands. The survivors spent decades seeking justice.

The Aleut Story reveals the inherent racism of the US government. During this time, the Aleut men were forced into slave labor as seal hunters, with the US threat of never being able to return to their homes if they did not.

When Aleut return to the camps later as adults, they visit the graves of those who died there.

Read more at Aleut Story http://aleutstory.tv/
From isolated internment camps in Southeast Alaska to Congress and the White House, this is the incredible, untold story of Aleut Americans’ decades-long struggle for human and civil rights.
In 1942, as World War II invaded Alaska, Aleut Americans were taken from their homes and removed to abysmal government camps 1,500 miles away. Death was ever-present in the camps. An estimated 10 percent of the men, women and children sent to the camps would die there—a death rate comparable to that suffered by Americans in foreign prisoner of war camps. As the Aleuts prayed for deliverance, "friendly forces" looted their homes and churches in the Aleutian and Pribilof islands.
Those who survived would fight for their rights—in the nation’s courts and on Capitol Hill. In a historic action—one that continues to influence our lives and our nation’s ideals—Aleuts joined Japanese Americans in seeking wartime reparations from the federal government.
Aleut Americans ultimately prevailed.
Richly textured with all the elements of great human drama—war, suffering, sacrifice, faith, self-discovery and renewal—Aleut Story is a poignant and timely film about the least known chapters of the American civil rights experience.
Filmed on location in Alaska and Washington, DC on 35mm and S16mm, Aleut Story moves viewers through a distant landscape with mesmerizing cinematography, presents rare archival images and contemporary interviews. Narrated by Emmy® winner Martin Sheen, historical readings by John O’Hurley, vocals and flute by Grammy® winner Mary Youngblood.

Aleut Story was developed, researched, filmed and edited for national television over five years. Thousands of pages of historical documents, public testimony, congressional debate, personal memoirs, photographs and scholarly texts were reviewed. Filmed entirely on location, the project took the film crew to the Aleutian Islands, the Pribilof Islands, the historic sites of federal duration camps at Funter Bay and Killisnoo, to Anchorage, Juneau, Seattle and Washington, D.C. But the real strength of this film is the chorus of first person voices.

No comments:

Censored News content can not be used on websites with advertising

Censored News articles may not be used on websites with advertising. None of the content may be used on webpages with earnings from Ad words or other forms of financial gain or revenue generating. All material copyrighted by individual writers and photographers.

Censored News PayPal: Please donate for live coverage!

Censored News rarely receives donations. It is reader supported news, with no advertising, grants or salaries. Please donate so we can continue live coverage in 2015! Censored News is in its 9th year! Thank you! brendanorrell@gmail.com About Censored News Censored News was created in response to censorship by Indian Country Today. Censored News publisher Brenda Norrell was a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, when she was censored repeatedly and terminated in 2006. Now in its 9th year with no advertising, grants or sponsors, Censored News continues as a labor of love, a service to grassroots Indigenous Peoples and human rights advocates. Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 33 years, beginning at Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She served as a stringer for AP and USA Today on the Navajo Nation and later was based in Tucson and traveled with the Zapatistas in Mexico. After being blacklisted by all the paying media, Norrell has continued to work without pay, providing live coverage with Earthcycles from Indian lands across the US, including live coverage of the Longest Walk, with the five month live talk radio across America in 2008.