SAA Awards

Native American Scholarships Fund:


The Native American Scholarships Fund is an endowment established to foster a sense of shared purpose and positive interaction between archaeologists and Native Americans.

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.

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Four types of 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 $4,000).

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).

Application Form (fillable pdf)

Application Deadline:
December 15 (annually)


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.

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 becomes 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. Since 1998, eligibility for the scholarship has included Native peoples from the U.S. Trust Territories and Canada.

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.


The first Arthur C. Parker Scholarship was awarded in the spring of 1998 to Angela Steiner Neller, then a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since then, more than three dozen scholarships have been provided to Native American and Native Hawaiian students and professionals.

Arthur C. Parker Scholarship Awardees

1998 Angela J. Neller
1999 Iwalani Ching
2000 Randy Thompson
2001 Cynthia Williams
2002 Nola Markey
2003 Kalewa Sye Arie Correa
2004 Sean P. Nakimaile
2005 Larae Buckskin
2006 Malia Kapuanalani Evans-Mason
2007 Ora V. Marek
2008 Marie Sina Faatuala
2009 Travis Maki

National Science Foundation Scholarship Awardees

1998 Norrie L. Judd
Christopher Koonooka
Meredith Lane Vasta
1999 Lokelani Aipa
Lesley Awong
Frank Mt. Pleasant
2000 Leander Lucero
J. Lahela A. Perry
Amanda Rockman
2001 Bonnie Lee Dziadasek
Desiree Martinez
Blair First Rider
2002 Deona Naboa
Natalie Ball
Tracy Pierre
2003 Michael Garcia
Gordon G. Moore
Carly Kaleo Veary
Scott T. Kikiloi
2005 Lizatina A. Tsosie
Laurie Shead
Denny Gaytoni
2006 Vera Asp
Ashley Layne Atkins
Joey Condit
Elizabeth Leina’ala Kahahave
Roberta Lynn Thomas
2007 Tracey L. Pierre
2008 Na’lilma Ahuna
Tracey L. Pierre
Simon Solomon
2009 Shianne Sebastian
Ira K. Matt
Wesley D. Miles

Silent Auction

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 moral (and financial) 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 culture and history, donating book royalties to the NASF is an easy and visible way to share the benefits of their work with the very community they are studying—to offer material and moral 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:

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.

Zeder, Melinda
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.


Click here for the Native American Scholarships Committee webpage