Keynote Speakers

Reading a New Landscape

Jack Nisbet
Teacher, Naturalist, Author
Wednesday, 8:30am

David Thompson was a British fur trader and cartographer who made early contact with numerous Interior tribes and completed the first survey of the entire Columbia River. David Douglas was a Scottish naturalist who made the first systematic collections of flora and fauna over large portions of the Columbia District that Thompson defined. This slide presentation will trace how the perception of these men and the world they traveled through has evolved over time, then examine some different approaches to on-site interpretation of their work that attempt to connect their past with our present.

Spokane-based teacher and naturalist Jack Nisbet is the author of several books that explore the human and natural history of the Northwest, including award-winning biographies of mapmaker David Thompson and naturalist David Douglas. Nisbet and his wife Claire have curated museum exhibits and created interpretive signs for agencies and utilities within the Columbia River drainage.

History, Honor, Healing, Hope

Clarence Moriwaki
President, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community
Friday, 8:30am

Clarence Moriwaki  will speak on the impact of fear, war hysteria, prejudice, and the failure of political leadership during the Japanese American exclusion during World War II. He is the founder and past president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial in Washington State. It is the site of the very first Japanese Americans who were taken from their communities and put into concentration camps during World War II in the United States.

In total, 120,000 Japanese Americans were placed into concentration camps when the Pacific war broke out. The first 227, two-thirds of them American citizens, were rounded up and removed from Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1942.

In many cities across the country, the homes and businesses of Japanese Americans were vandalized and burned after Pearl Harbor. On Bainbridge Island, where the Japanese Americans were well integrated into the community, the local newspaper made efforts to stay connected with the families who had been removed, publishing update letters as well as birth and death announcements while they were away. Many local citizens took care of the properties of those who had been removed and returned their possessions when they came back.

The United States formally apologized for the internment decades later, after studying the policy and determining that there was no military need for the removal. It was an act based in fear and racial prejudice according to the report.

The goal of the memorial is to honor the families and individuals who suffered this great historical injustice and to bring them peace. The motto of the memorial site is Nidoto Nai Yoni, “Let it not happen again.”

2017 NAI National Conference

Spokane, Washington

November 14-18, 2017


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