Overhead view of a dried up river system

POV “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust”

Stream now on the PBS Video app

Three communities intersect, sharing histories of forced removal – Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Manzanar WWII concentration camp, Native Americans who were forced from these lands, and ranchers turned environmentalists, who were bought out by the LA Department of Water and Power. How do they come together in the present moment to defend their land and water from Los Angeles?

Local connections

Though this POV film focuses on Southern California, the Arizona connections are apparent. The state is no stranger to Japanese American internment camps, nor water rights issues facing Native Americans and ranchers in Arizona. Explore these topics, or prepare lesson plans using the materials from PBS LearningMedia below.

Japanese Internment Camps in Arizona

Just outside of Tucson, Arizona, there is a sign on the road to Mount Lemmon that reads Gordon Hirabayashi, previously the site of a prison camp during World War II. Gordon Hirabayashi was an inmate. Hirabayashi was one of only three Japanese Americans to openly defy the U.S. government when it forcibly interned nearly 70,000 American citizens of Japanese descent into harsh and isolated detention camps. This is the story of how he went from prisoner to civil rights hero.

Learn more about Gordon Hirabayashi and the former prison camp with PBS LearningMedia.

Water in the Desert

The future of living in the desert is dependent on water. What are the changes that will effect the water supply of the West? This video from the Salt River Project will describe how proper planning and needed partnerships will ensure our future is a future with water.

To learn more about the Salt River Project, watch The Watershed series on PBS LearningMedia.

Native Farming in Arizona

For thousands of years the Tohono O’odham have lived in the Sonoran Desert and for much of that time harvested the Bahidaj, the fruit of the saguaro cactus. We were invited to experience this deep and life-sustaining native tradition which reveals the beauty and the bounty of the region.

Learn about the Bahidaj with this video, and find more resources on Native life in Arizona from The Arizona Collection on PBS LearningMedia.

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