The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum honors and recognizes those individuals, businesses and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the fulfillment of the Museum’s mission of “collecting, preserving and fostering knowledge of Bainbridge Island History.”
The program was initiated in 2017 and since that time awards have been bestowed on 19 individuals, businesses, or organizations. This year’s recipients are The Suquamish Tribe and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association (BIJAEMA).
The Suquamish Tribe
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is within the ancestral territory of the Suquamish “People of Clear Salt Water.” Expert fishermen, canoe builders, and basket weavers, Suquamish people live in harmony with the lands and waterways along Washington’s Central Salish Sea, as they have for thousands of years.
The Suquamish Tribe has been a valuable partner with the Museum in pursuit of its mission to preserve and share the stories of Bainbridge Island. Such stories are the trademarks of History Heroes; they teach and inspire us – and have been passed along for thousands of years. They honor their ancestors, educate and empower the young, and contribute to the resurgence of the Suquamish culture.
The Suquamish Tribe played a critical role as a partner and contributor to Our Community: Past to Present, the Museum’s primary exhibit in its iconic 1908 schoolhouse.
We thank the Suquamish Tribe for sharing the fruits of their stories and traditions with visitors and citizens of this community. These stories and traditions will continue to be passed along through the generations – teaching all of us many valuable lessons about the land, culture and traditions of the Suquamish Tribe.
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association
The BI Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, created by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association (BIJAEMA), is an outdoor exhibit commemorating the internment of 276 Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1942, to an uncertain location and an unknown future. This Memorial is a tribute to the resilience and courage of those who were exiled. But it also does something else: It celebrates our community – a community that defended its neighbors, supported them in exile, and welcomed them home.
Because of the way it educates us in such a powerful and elegant way, the Memorial has become a destination on the Island – attracting visitors from all over the world. It ensures that the exclusion story and its message are spread far and wide.
BIJAEMA is also recognized for efforts to document this story for future generations by collecting oral and written histories and producing documentary films on the subject.