A capsule from the website:
In 1942, as World War II invaded Alaska, Aleut Americans were taken from their homes and removed to abysmal government camps 1,500 miles away. Death was ever-present in the camps. An estimated 10 percent of the men, women and children sent to the camps would die there—a death rate comparable to that suffered by Americans in foreign prisoner of war camps. As the Aleuts prayed for deliverance, "friendly forces" looted their homes and churches in the Aleutian and Pribilof islands.Says Marla Williams, screenwriter for the film, quoting from the 1990s-vintage U.S. government commission that authorized reparations to the Aleuts and Japanese-Americans:
Those who survived would fight for their rights—in the nation's courts and on Capitol Hill. In a historic action—one that continues to influence our lives and our nation's ideals—Aleuts joined Japanese Americans in seeking wartime reparations from the federal government.
Aleut Americans ultimately prevailed.
"Removal from their homeland permanently changed nearly every aspect of Aleut life," the special Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded in a report to Congress. "The many who died in the camps were a huge loss to both family and community which also endangers the future of the Aleut as a distinct people. Evacuation meant irreversible cultural erosion ... America, proud of its cultural diversity, thereby lost a distinctive part of itself."
Only through the telling of the Aleuts' story will America ever truly regain that part of itself which was lost. As filmmakers, it is our hope this documentary will contribute to a more accurate understanding of our civil rights history and a renewed appreciation for the diversity of our nation.