The Native American Scholarships Fund is an endowment established to foster a sense of shared purpose and positive interaction between archaeologists and Native Americans. Scholarships are open to all Native peoples from anywhere in the Americas, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacific Islanders.
Since 1998, the SAA has used the endowment income to award the annual Arthur C. Parker Scholarship in support of archaeological training for Native Americans who are students or employees of tribal, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian cultural preservation programs. National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships for Archaeological Training for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians are also awarded through the Native American Scholarships Committee. In 2009, the SAA added two new awards in support of undergraduate and graduate archaeology education.
Support for these scholarships comes in several ways: through individual donations, an annual silent auction at the SAA meetings, book royalties, and grants. For questions about the applications process or to make a donation, please contact the Committee Chair.
The following competitive scholarships are currently offered:
SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship or NSF Scholarship for Archaeological Training
To support archaeological training or a research program for Native American students or employees of tribal cultural preservation programs (up to $5,000).
SAA Native American Undergraduate Archaeology Scholarship
To support undergraduate studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care (up to $5,000).
SAA Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship
To support graduate studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care (up to $10,000).
2014 Application (Word Document)
Annual Application Deadline:
Complete applications must be received by December 16th
The SAA first created the Native American Scholarships Fund in 1988 to support Native people who are interested in studying archaeology. However, it took nearly a decade for the NASF to grow large enough to support an annual award: in 1997 the SAA Board established a Native American Scholarship program to be funded by the NASF.
The scholarship is named in honor of the SAA’s first president, Arthur C. Parker, who served from 1935 to 1936. Parker was of Seneca ancestry through his father’s family, and he spent his first 11 years on the Cattaraugus Reservation in western New York. His professional contributions included research in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and history, as well as public education and the development of museum anthropology. Parker was also involved in contemporary social and political issues that affected Native Americans.
(Photo: Arthur C. Parker in 1918. From The Life of General Ely S. Parker, Buffalo Historical Society, 1919, p. 201)
In 1995, the Native American Scholarships Committee was reorganized, with Larry J. Zimmerman appointed as chair. By this time, the NASF had grown to support a modest, biannual scholarship award. The committee recommended that the SAA Executive Board immediately establish a Native American scholarship program to support training in archaeological methods for enrolled students or tribal cultural preservation personnel and that a second Native American scholarship program be established to support graduate education when sufficient funding became available. The committee recommended a fund-raising campaign to achieve this. At the 1997 SAA annual meeting, the Executive Board accepted these recommendations and established fund-raising procedures.
The Arthur C. Parker Scholarship now provides up to $4,000 to support training in archaeological methods and cultural resource management, including fieldwork, analytical techniques, and curation for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians enrolled as high school seniors, college undergraduates, and graduate students, or who work in tribal or Native Hawaiian cultural preservation programs. Individuals may apply, or a professor, a cultural preservation supervisor, or an SAA member may nominate them. In addition, each year since 1998, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant to the SAA for three people who apply for the Parker Scholarship. The SAA added two new awards in 2009, in support of undergraduate and graduate archaeology education.
This history is excerpted and edited from: Smart, Tristine Lee, and Joe Watkins (1997) Arthur C. Parker Scholarship for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians Debuts. SAA Bulletin 15(4):20; (1999) SAA Native American Scholarship Programs and Fundraising Activities for the Native American Scholarship Fund. SAA Bulletin 17(1):12.
Gordon Moore (2003) Roberta Thomas (2006)
Arthur C. Parker Scholarship Awardees
2012 Ashleigh Thompson
2011 Kamakana Christian Ferreira
2010 Paulette Faith Steeves
2009 Travis Maki
2008 Marie Sina Faatuala
2007 Ora V. Marek
2006 Malia Kapuanalani Evans-Mason
2005 Larae Buckskin
2004 Sean P. Naleimaile
2003 Kalewa Sye Arie Correa
2002 Nola Markey
2001 Cynthia Williams
2000 Randy Thompson
1999 Iwalani Ching
1998 Angela J. Neller
National Science Foundation Scholarship Awardees
2012 Joshua D. Castleman
2012 Joel Nicholas
2012 Autumn Whiteway
2011 Robert James David
2011 Kevin J. Brown
2011 Liana Staci Hesler
2010 Wesley D. Miles, Elijah Sanderson, Simon Arthur Solomon
2009 Ira K. Matt, Wesley D. Miles, Shianne Sebastian
2008 Na'ilima Ahuna, Tracey L. Pierre, Simon Solomon
2007 Tracey L. Pierre
2006 Vera Asp, Ashley Layne Atkins, Joey Condit, Elizabeth Leina’ala Kahahane, Roberta Lynn Thomas
2005 Lizatina A. Tsosie, Laurie Shead, Denny Gaytoni
2003 Michael Garcia, Gordon G. Moore, Carly Kaleo Veary, Scott T. Kikiloi
2002 Deona Naboa, Natalie Ball, Tracey L. Pierre
2001 Bonnie Lee Dziadasek, Desiree Martinez, Blair First Rider
2000 Leander Lucero, J. Lahela A. Perry, Amanda Rockman
1999 Lokelani Aipa, Lesley Awong, Frank Mt. Pleasant
1998 Norrie L. Judd, Christopher Koonooka, Meredith Lane Vasta
SAA Native American Undergraduate Archaeology Scholarship Awardees
2012 Laura Jane Brandon
2011 Garrett W. Briggs
2010 Vanessa T. Cabrera
SAA Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship Awardees
2012 Nicholas Laluk
2011 Frank James Raslich
2010 Ashley Layne Atkins
Since 1998 at the SAA annual meeting in Seattle, Washington, the Native American Scholarships Committee has held a silent auction. It’s a fun way to express tangible support for the Committee’s goals and, for those with the highest bids, an easy way to contribute the NASF’s endowment. In 2007, nearly $6,000 was raised from the auction!
Donations to the silent auction are greatly appreciated. In previous years, contributions for the silent auction have included used and new books, jewelry, clothing items, archaeological equipment and services, Native American craft items, artwork, and more. All donations are tax-deductible.
Please be sure to participate at the annual meeting! To donate items for next year, contact the Committee Chair.
For those scholars writing about Native American cultures and histories, donating book royalties to the NASF is an easy and tangible way to share the benefits of their work with the members of descendent communities—to offer financial support for a program that aims to make archaeology more dynamic and inclusive. To date, royalties from more than a dozen books are being donated to the NASF. For more information on donating book royalties, please contact the Committee Chair. Books with royalties donated to the NASF:
Moss, Madonna L.
2011 Northwest Coast: Archaeology as Deep History. The SAA Press, Washington, D.C.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip, and T. J. Ferguson (editors)
2008 Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities. AltaMira Press, Lanham.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip, Julie Hollowell, and Dru McGill
2008 Ethics in Action: Case Studies in Archaeological Dilemmas. The SAA Press, Washington D.C.
Ferguson, T. J., and Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh
2006 History Is in the Land: Multivocal Tribal Traditions in Arizona’s San Pedro Valley. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Hardesty, Donald L., and Barbara J. Little
2000 Assessing Site Significance: A Guide for Archaeologists and Historians. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Hutt, Sherry, Marion P. Forsyth, and David Tarler (editors)
2006 Presenting Archaeology in Court: A Guide to Legal Protection of Sites. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
King, Thomas F.
1998 Cultural Resource Laws and Practice: An Introductory Guide. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
2000 Federal Planning and Historic Places: The Section 106 Process. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
2002 Thinking About Cultural Resource Management: Essays from the Edge. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
2003 Places That Count: Traditional Cultural Properties in Cultural Resource Management. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
2004 Cultural Resource Laws and Practice. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Richman, Jennifer R., and Marion P. Forsyth
2004 Legal Perspectives on Cultural Resources. AltaMira, Walnut Creek. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Silliman, Stephen W. (editor)
2008 Collaborating at the Trowel’s Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Stapp, Darby C., and Michael S. Burney
2002 Tribal Cultural Resource Management: The Full Circle to Stewardship. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Swidler, Nina, Kurt E. Dongoske, Roger Anyon, and Alan S. Downer (editors)
1997 Native Americans and Archaeologists: Stepping Stones to Common Ground. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Thomas, David Hurst
2000 Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity. Basic Books, New York.
1997 The American Archaeologist: A Profile. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Zimmerman, Larry J., Karen D. Vitelli, and Julie Hollowell-Zimmer (editors)
2003 Ethical Issues in Archaeology. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.