NEH Workshops Schedule

NEH Workshops Banner image featuring archival photograph of Heart Mountain site including the mountain, guard tower, and barracks. Photo by Yoshio Okumoto.

Expand each day below to see an overview of the schedule:


  • What is the power of words? Why is the language of incarceration important?
  • Why is the story of Heart Mountain compelling?
  • What is the power of a place-based approach in understanding difficult history?

Participant Check-In @ Thomas the Apostle Center

Bingo Ice-Breaker

Introduction of Heart Mountain Workshop Participants   

“The Power of Words” – Tyson Emborg, HMWF NEH Master Teacher

  • Norman Mineta & 9/11: A Heart Mountain Legacy
  • Thinking about the frameworks of Agency, Oppression, Identity, Community, & Resilience

Depart for Heart Mountain Interpretive Site

Visit the entrance where over 14,000 Japanese Americans entered Wyoming’s 3rd largest city.

Welcome to the 2024 HMWF NEH Workshop

  Aura (Sunada-Matsumura) Newlin, HMWF Director & Sybil Tubbs, HMWF Education Manager

Overview of the NEH Workshop – Tyson Emborg, HMWF NEH Master Teacher

Tour Heart Mountain Interpretive Center Museum


“Voices from Foretop’s Father” 

Johnny Tim Yellowtail, HMWF Historic Site Caretaker

  • Synopsis: Yellowtail will be talking about the cultural significance, connection, and personal origin he has with Heart Mountain and explain the respect the Crow Nation has for mother nature as Plains Indians are tied to the land, elements, environment and surroundings.


  • Why were members of the Japanese American community targeted for incarceration following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor?
  • How was president Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 echoed through past injustices?  What long-standing fears and overt racism were used to target the Japanese American community?
  • What were the wartime experiences of the Japanese American community at Heart Mountain? 

Connecting w/ the Heart Mountain WWII Japanese American Confinement Site 

  • Scatter Pebbles @ Heart Mountain 

Heart Mountain AR: An Augmented Reality Experience – Sybil Tubbs, HMWF Education Manager 

An Introduction to Incarceration at Heart Mountain – Tyson Emborg, HMWF NEH Master Teacher

“Personal Stories: Before, During, and After Camp”  – Sam Mihara, HMWF Board member and Former Incarceree

  • Synopsis: This session examines the day to day experiences and effects of the incarceration experience from first person experience. **June 17th in person and June 24th on Zoom


Tour Restored Barrack – Cally Steussy, HMWF Director of Interpretation & Preservation

  • Heart Mountain AR: An Augmented Reality Experience
    • (4) Life in the Barracks, (5) George Hirahara’s Darkroom, (6) Recreation and Entertainment, (7) Going to School, (8) Making Mochi

The Mineta-Simpson Story

“Echoes in History: A Family Case Study” – Aura (Sunada-Matsumura) Newlin, HMWF Interim Director 

  • Synopsis: Newlin will use storytelling to communicate how her “Japanese Wyomingite” background guides her teaching, advocacy, and research.

The Heart Mountain Bungei – Cally Steussy, HMWF Director of Interpretation & Preservation

  • Synopsis: The Heart Mountain Bungei is a Japanese-language magazine that was published by the Japanese Americans confined at the Heart Mountain camp during WWII. Bungei (pronounced boon-gay; 文藝 or 文芸 in Japanese) roughly translates to “arts and literature.” The magazine featured poetry, zuihitsu (short essays), and short stories.

Exploring Educational Resources @ the HMIC – Sybil Tubbs &  Tyson Emborg

  • Create Primary Source Sets

DINNER – Cookout @ Thomas the Apostle Center


  • What were the constitutional issues surrounding Japanese American incarceration during World War II? 
  • What can we learn about the ideas of citizenship, patriotism, and nationalism through the responses to incarceration?
  • How were reactions to the Loyalty Questionnaire both mixed and long-lasting?

STOP: Veterans Memorial (Cody, Wyoming)

  • PFC Cike C. Kawano (d. 1944 France) & PVT Stanley Hayami (d. 1945 Italy) 

Heart Mountain Juxtapose Walking Tour 

  • Synopsis: This session will focus on using the power of place to understand the lens of history. Participants will visit key locations at the Heart Mountain Historic Landmark Site including: Heart Mountain Camp Site, the Setsuko Saito Higuchi Interpretive Trail, along with the Honor Roll, Hospital, and Smokestack.
  • Heart Mountain AR: An Augmented Reality Experience: (9) Heart Mountain Eagles, (10) Activities, (11) Boy Scouts Norm and Al, (12) The Honor Roll, (13) The Swimming Hole, (14)  Going Blind at Heart Mountain

“We Hereby Refuse: The Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and other Camp Resistance” 

Frank Abe, author, journalist, filmmaker 

  • Synopsis: We will examine mass resistance in all the camps to the government’s administration of a loyalty questionnaire, and organized resistance at Heart Mountain to compulsory military conscription from inside camp.


Exploring the Resister Files @ the HMIC – Sybil Tubbs, HMWF Education Manager

Making Historical Connections – Tyson Emborg, HMWF NEH Master Teacher

Behind the Scenes @ the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

  • Exploring New Exhibits
  • Inside the Archives
  • The Story of Kiyoshi Kuromiya
  • The Artwork of Estelle Ishigo
  • Heart Mountain Example Lesson Plans

Creating Your Primary Source Set – Sybil Tubbs &  Tyson Emborg

DINNER (On Your Own)


  • What histories of the American West are inscribed among the landscapes in, and around, Heart Mountain?
  • How is an understanding of the incarceration of Japanese Americans shaped by other experiences in the American West?
  • How can artifacts be used to gain a deeper understanding of the wartime Japanese American experience?

 “Tribalogy of Apsáalooke (Crow) Cultural Heritage” 

Dr. Mary Keller, Senior Lecturer, Philosophy and Religious Studies; Adjunct, African American and Diaspora Studies, University of Wyoming

  • Synopsis: This session will examine this contested land that was once home to the Apsáalooke or the “Children of the large beaked bird,” also called the Crow Nation. Dr. Keller will focus on the Crow’s history on the land, drawing from her oral history research and study of Native American culture in Wyoming.

WATCH: Return to Foretop’s Father

Welcome to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West 

Gretchen Henrich Director of the Education and Interpretation Division, Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Cultural Genocide & the Extermination of the Buffalo

  • Session #1: Plains Indian Museum – Gretchen Henrich, Director of Education 
  • Session #2: Buffalo Bill Museum – George Miller, Outreach Educator
  • Session #3: Whitney Galley Karen McWhorter – Scarlett Curator of Western American Art      

LUNCH (On your Own)

DINNER (On your Own)

Free Time Recommendations: 

  • START w/ a visit to the Cody Visitor Center (across the street from the BBCoW)
  • Tour the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
  • Visit Downtown Cody, Wyoming
  • Visit Old Trail Town
  • Visit Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site


  • What role did Japanese American incarceration play in shaping the landscape surrounding Heart Mountain?
  • How did incarceration affect family and community dynamics among Japanese Americans?
  • How did the federal government try to tame the land in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin?
  • How might the experiences of Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain help shape the 21st century?

Visit the Willwood Diversion Dam

Tour Heart Mountain Root Cellar – Cally Steussy, HMWF Director of Interpretation & Preservation

  • Synopsis: This session will discuss the often-uneasy collaboration between the Heart Mountain prisoners, who helped harvest the crops of local farmers, the historical significance of the root cellar structure and the agricultural accomplishments, known as the “Heart Mountain Miracle,” of the prisoners at camp. 

The Legacy of the Land: Homesteading, Irrigation and Reclamation 

Dr. Amy McKinney, Associate Professor of History, Northwest College, Powell, Wyoming

  • Synopsis: This session will introduce participants to the federal efforts to irrigate and farm the Bighorn Basin. This started with the 1902 Reclamation Act and the Shoshone Irrigation Project, which began to send water to the farms started by the post-World War I homesteaders. This created the conditions that made the area appealing to the WRA for a Japanese American camp.

Exploring Educational Resources @ the HMIC – Sybil Tubbs &  Tyson Emborg

  • Primary Source Sets

The End of the Camp: Where did it all Go?

Dr. Eric Sandeen, Professor Emeritus, American Studies at the University of Wyoming 

  • Synopsis: In this session Dr. Eric Sandeen will engage participants in a discussion about the dispersal of the camp’s buildings for $1 apiece and the influence of incarceration on the local communities since the war. He will draw on his decades of experience studying the cultural landscapes of Wyoming, including his survey of the area surrounding Heart Mountain. 

Relocation and the Splitting of the Japanese American Community – Erin Aoyama, American Studies doctoral candidate at Brown University

  • Synopsis: This session will focus on the War Relocation Authority’s efforts to spread Japanese Americans around the country during the war, a policy that allowed some prisoners to escape confinement while also eroding the familial ties that characterized the prewar Japanese American community.

Voices from Heart Mountain – Panel Discussion

Depart for the Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell, Wyoming 

DINNER (On Your Own)


  • How has the wartime incarceration of the Japanese American community created multi-generational trauma?
  • What lessons have we learned from the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans?

“Echoes in History: Multigenerational Trauma” 

Dr. Gordon Nagayama Hall & Jeanne Nagayama Hall, M.Ed. 

Participant Share Out

“Reflections on the Echoes in History” –  Tyson Emborg, & Sybil Tubbs


The Heart Mountain, Wyoming and the Japanese American Incarceration 2024 Workshop has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.