National Parks Group Applauds Launch of New Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   February 14, 2013
Contact:   Kati Schmidt, Senior Media Relations Manager,National Parks Conservation Association: 415.728.0840; Mobile: 415.847.1768


National Parks Group Applauds Launch of New Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative

Statement by NPCA Senior Pacific Regional Director Ron Sundergill

“The National Parks Conservation Association supports the Interior Department’s Asian American Pacific Islander heritage initiative, as it provides yet another positive step forward in connecting Americans to our diverse, shared heritage.”

“In its current form, Asian American-themed national park sites such as Manzanar and Tule Lake in California are limited to focus on the injustices experienced, while the greater cultural contribution of Asian Americans to the American experience remains mostly untold. And surprisingly, none of our national park sites honor Chinese-Americans, the largest subset of Asians in our country. We hope that the Asian American Pacific Islander heritage initiative, in conjunction with the National Park Service’s forthcoming theme study, will provide in-roads to honor the achievements of Asian Americans in our National Park System.”

“While studies have found Asian Americans to be the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, in its current form, our National Park System does not adequately represent the many contributions made to our shared heritage. Nearly 50 percent of individuals under 18 in our country come from multicultural backgrounds, yet our National Park System does not currently reflect this level of diversity, particularly in regards to minorities and women. While it is not an official National Park System site, last Sunday’s announcement by Interior Secretary Salazar to make Seattle’s Wing Luke museum an affiliated area of the National Park Service was another positive step forward in our shared efforts to connect with diverse audiences. As we look ahead to the 2016 centennial celebration of the National Park Service, diversifying our national parks to more fully reflect our shared heritage and cultural diversity remains a critical priority that the National Parks Conservation Association fully supports.”

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