Bismarck’s UTTC Campus Was Once A WWII Internment Camp.
The grounds where the United Tribes Technical College is located started out in 1895 as a United States military outpost. It was built as Fort Lincoln to be a replacement for Fort Yates and to take the role of the former Fort Lincoln that had been on the west side of the Missouri River. Over decades it has served many purposes the most nefarious is its role in imprisoning Japanese and Germans men who had been captured during the war or in many cases had renounced their US citizenship as a reaction to the war. The German American Internee Association claims that .from 1939-1946, over two thousand Germans and eighteen hundred Japanese men had passed through the gate of the former Fort Lincoln. A gate that stands to this day at UTTC.
This is from United Tribe's archive.
During World War II, from 1941 to 1946, a portion of Fort Lincoln was cordoned off for human confinement. A 10-foot-high cyclone fence topped with barbed wire and fortified with guard towers signaled the fort’s conversion to an internment camp in the U.S. Justice Department’s Alien Enemy Control Program.
It's difficult to believe it has been less than 80 years since individuals were pulled from all parts of the country to a remote site in North Dakota based on their ethnicity and beliefs. For certain, it's an interesting piece of history that many know about locally, but its existence is unknown to many who have moved here over the decades. There are very few reminders left of those darker times, in their place is the promise of much brighter times.
Annually, United Tribes Technical College plays host to an International Powwow that brings thousands of people to the campus to celebrate unity while celebrating diversity.
Progress is a powerful thing.