2022 Tule Lake Pilgrimage Update
January 2022: The Tule Lake pilgrimage committee began meeting last fall to plan an in-person 2022 pilgrimage over the weekend of July 1 through 4. However, due to COVID variants and concern over the safety of convening a pilgrimage of 400+ people, in January 2022, the pilgrimage committee met and decided to pursue hybrid and virtual options.
We've deeply missed the community connection that pilgrimages create and trust that virtual efforts, while no substitute for the joy of in-person gatherings, will help maintain old friendships and build new ones. Stay tuned for announcements for our online TuleLake pilgrimage. In the interim, if you were unable to join our August 2021 virtual TuleLake pilgrimage, we've posted it at: www.tulelake.org
Please join us in the work to preserve and remember Tule Lake. When the FAA’s public comment period opens, be ready to tell the FAA why Tule Lake is important to your family and to our nation’s history. Donations help too! Your support for our advocacy to protect Tule Lake is deeply appreciated.
With thanks and wishes for a happy and healthy new year!
To support the Tule Lake Committee’s work to preserve the story of Japanese American civil rights protest during WWII, please visit the Commitee’s online donation page at www.tulelake.org or send a check to:
Tule Lake Committee
P. O. Box 17014
San Francisco, CA 94117.
Save the Date for the next in-person Tule Lake Pilgrimage July 1-4, 2022. To help us plan, or just stay informed, join our mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the Tule Lake Committee, visit: https://www.tulelake.org/
What Made Tule Lake Unique?
Tule Lake was the only maximum-security Segregation Center, used to punish unjustly imprisoned Japanese Americans who refused to give unqualified “yes” responses to two key questions on a misguided, incompetently administered “loyalty” questionnaire. During segregation, Tule Lake became the biggest concentration camp, with 18,700 inmates crowded into a facility built for 15,000.
Tule Lake had four separate incarceration sites that were used to detain dissidents. The nearby former CCC Camp became a WRA Isolation Center (1943) that punished hundreds of loyalty questionnaire resisters. Within the Tule Lake Segregation Center, stockade Area B (1943-44) was used during martial law and afterwards to punish, without due process, anyone deemed a “troublemaker.” The second stockade known as Area 99 (1945) was used to corral and detain renunciants who were being sent to Department of Justice internment camps. The Tule Lake WRA jail (1945), the only jail within a WRA concentration camp, was a menacing concrete structure used to detain American citizens who renounced their U.S. citizenship, a denationalization program that made them “enemy aliens,” enabling legal deportation.
At Tule Lake the government pressured 5,461 Nisei and Kibei into renouncing their U.S. citizenship. In contrast, at the other nine WRA camps, only 128 renounced.
Tule Lake was unique as the only WRA camp where draft resisters were prosecuted and legally vindicated.
Tule Lake was the first WRA camp to open on May 26, 1942, and the last one to close on March 20,1946. The remaining approximately 400 renunciants included individuals and their families who were sent to the Crystal City Family Internment Camp, TX, awaiting deportation.
During the1950’s, Tule Lake was proposed for use as a concentration camp to imprison Communists, and in the 1960’s, Black civil rights activists.