Native American Scholarships Fund

Now open for applications. Deadline to apply is January 31, 2023

2023 SAA Native American Scholarships Application (Word)

2023 SAA Native American Scholarships Application (pdf)

2023 SAA Native American Scholarships Online Application

Paper applications should be emailed to nasf@saa.org. Guidance for filling out the online application is here: NASF Online Application Instructions 2023 AYIf you have any questions about the application process, please email amy_rutledge@saa.org.

The Native American Scholarships endowment fund was established in 1988 to foster a sense of shared purpose and positive interaction between archaeologists and Native Americans. Since 1998, the SAA has used endowment income to award the Arthur C. Parker Scholarship. In 2009, the Society added two new awards to support undergraduate and graduate education in archaeology and, in 2021, a new award for Native American women. These scholarships are funded through individual donations, a silent auction held at the SAA Annual Meeting, and external grants. The following competitive scholarships are currently offered:

  • SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship for Archaeological Training for Native Americans supports archaeological training for Native Americans who are students or employees of tribal, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian cultural preservation programs. Amount award is variable. Any form of archaeological training may be funded, not just limited to field schools. Learn more about Arthur C. Parker (1881–1955).
  • National Science Foundation Scholarship for Archaeological Training supports archaeological training or a research program for Native American students or employees of tribal cultural preservation programs. Any form of archaeological training may be funded, not just limited to field schools. Funding includes: Tuition towards a degree (excluding costs related to thesis/dissertation research, such as travel); field school; archaeological digital or technical training; heritage management training; Tribal language and/or culture training. Amount awarded is up to $6,000 with two to four scholarships available each year. 
  • SAA Native American Undergraduate Archaeology Scholarship supports undergraduate studies for Native American students. For 2022, funding includes: tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, family and dependent care, medical expenses, on-line archival research costs, and archaeology related analysis costs. Amount awarded is up to $6,000 with one scholarship available each year. 
  • SAA Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship supports graduate studies for Native American students. For 2021, funding includes: tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, family and dependent care, medical expenses, on-line archival research costs, and archaeology related analysis costs. Amount awarded is up to $10,000 with one scholarship available each year. 
  • Bertha Parker Cody Award for Native American Women supports undergraduate and graduate studies, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care. All Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women, including gender non-conforming individuals, who are undergraduate or graduate students in the fields of archaeology and museum studies, are eligible for this award. This award is partially funded by the Autry Museum of the American West. One scholarship available each year. Learn more about Bertha Parker Cody.  (1907–1978). 

Eligibility

Scholarships are open to all Native peoples from anywhere in the Americas, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacific Islanders. See scholarship descriptions above for any other eligibility requirements. 

Application Materials

The required application materials consist of the following items: 

1) An application form (downloaded from link at top of page) that includes the applicants background information; 

2) Two letters of recommendation, including one from a current SAA member in good standing, that describe the applicant’s past successes and future potentials;

3) A personal statement that is no more than two pages in length that explains in a compelling and sincere way why the applicant is interested in the proposed program in archaeology and/or museum studies, and the contributions the applicant hopes to make in the future of the specified field(s); 

4) An itemized budget that is coherent, realistic, and well justified along with a description of financial need that includes an explanation of how the applicant will apply the funds and the basis for financial need; 

5) Documentation of Native American, Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian identity, such as official status of tribal enrollment (e.g., Tribal Enrollment Cards, official letter from the Tribal or First Nation council, birth certificates, etc.) or a statement that outlines the applicant’s genealogy or ancestry. 

PLEASE READ THE APPLICATION FORM CAREFULLY FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS AND ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.

Application and nomination materials should be emailed to nasf@saa.org. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact SAA Communications and Fundraising Manager Amy Rutledge at amy_rutledge@saa.org, who facilitates the distribution of application packets to the Native American Scholarship Committee for review.

For questions about the applications process or to make a donation to these scholarships, please contact the Chair of the Native American Scholarships Committee.

Other Requirements

Prior to any award recommendation being finalized and publicly announced, anyone recommended for an award, scholarship, or grant will be required to certify the following:

(a)  I am not and have not ever been the subject of a discrimination or harassment lawsuit or related administrative complaint that resulted in an adverse finding; and

(b)  I do not have and have not had a current or pending disciplinary action such as suspension or termination of registration, resulting from a Register of Professional Archaeologists’ grievance investigation.

Past Recipients

2022 Scholars

SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship
Not awarded

SAA Native American Undergraduate Scholarship
Travis Chai Andrade 

SAA Native American Graduate Scholarship
Patrick Cruz

NSF Training Scholarships
Isabella Araiza
Valentina Herrera
Anastasia Walhovd

Bertha Parker Cody Award for Native American Women
Cheyenne Caraway