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SAA Mission Statement

Keith Kintigh

In the fall of 1994 the SAA Executive Board began a strategic planning effort. A strategic plan, by definition, focuses on the basic nature (the mission) and the direction (strategy) of the organization. As such, the central result of this effort was a mission statement for the Society for American Archaeology. A set of specific goals (strategy) was developed out of the mission statement. Each of these longer term goals was further elaborated with a brief abstract and an extensive list of ideas or operational plans for implementation. At its November 1996 meeting, the board formally adopted the mission statement and goals and asked that they be published in the SAA Bulletin. The mission statement and goals will be used by the board and the staff in planning and in evaluating existing, new, and proposed SAA programs. They will also be used to convey a sense of the society to those outside the profession and to potential members. The mission statement elaborates, rather than replaces, the objectives of SAA contained in the bylaws.

The board solicits member comment on the mission statement and goals so they can be further refined as the strategic planning process moves forward. Comments would be most helpful if received before the annual meeting (April 2-6, 1997). They may be sent to or to Keith Kintigh, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ 85287-2402.

Society for American Archaeology Mission Statement

The mission of the Society for American Archaeology is to increase understanding and appreciation of humanity's past as achieved through systematic investigation of the archaeological record. The society promotes research, stewardship of archaeological resources, public and professional education, and the dissemination of knowledge. To serve the public interest, SAA leads the diverse archaeological community by:

SAA seeks the widest possible engagement with all segments of society, including governments, educators, and indigenous peoples, in advancing knowledge and enhancing awareness of the past.


1. SAA seeks to disseminate essential research and professional information to the archaeological community and public.

2. SAA seeks to improve and expand professional and financial services to its members.

3. SAA seeks to provide archaeologists with training and information through courses, workshops, and appropriately sited topical conferences.

4. SAA will commit itself to the widest possible arena for the dissemination of information from archaeological research, especially to the interested public and to kindergarten through 12th-grade educational programs.

5. SAA will be an effective advocate for archaeology in the legislative and public policy arenas.

6. SAA is committed to promoting ethical behavior within the archaeological community.

7. SAA seeks to serve the interests of the diverse constituencies that comprise its membership.

8. SAA will operate and manage its affairs in an effective, efficient, and businesslike manner to support its stated goals.

9. SAA actively promotes a close coordination between academic and CRM archaeology.

10. SAA seeks positive and equitable relations with indigenous populations through meaningful communication, consultation, and coordination on issues of mutual interest.

Approved by the SAA Executive Board, November 3, 1996.

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