The scholarship is named in honor of 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 New York. His professional contributions included research in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and history, as well as public education and the development of museum collections. Parker was also involved in contemporary issues that affected Native Americans (W. N. Fenton, 1968, Editor's Introduction. In Parker on the Iroquois, by A. C. Parker, pp. 1-47. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY; W. A. Ritchie, 1956, Arthur Caswell Parker--1881-1955. American Antiquity 21: 293-295).
The Arthur C. Parker Scholarship is supported by the Native American Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1988 by the then-called SAA Executive Committee. Robert L. Kelly and David Hurst Thomas played important roles in creating the fund, and Thomas served as the first chair of the associated Native American Scholarships Committee. Contributions of royalties from publications dealing with Native Americans as well as individual donations made the fund grow successfully [1990, The Native American Scholarship Fund. SAA Bulletin 8(2):13].
In 1995, the Native American Scholarships Committee was reorganized, with Larry J. Zimmerman as chair. By this time, the Native American Scholarship Fund had grown to support a modest, biannual scholarship award. The committee recommended that the 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.
The name for the Parker Scholarship was suggested by Joe Watkins, the newly appointed committee chair. The other committee members are Kenneth H. Carleton, Douglas S. Frink, Barbara J. Mills, Thomas J. Riley, Tristine Lee Smart (vice-chair), V. Ann Tippitt, and Miranda Warburton. The committee now is initiating the Parker Scholarship program and expanding fund-raising activities.
The committee members thank those who have contributed to the Native American Scholarship Fund. If approved by the Executive Board, the committee will hold a silent auction at the 1998 SAA annual meeting in Seattle, and will solicit funds from private sources, such as foundations and corporations. Archaeologists are encouraged to contribute all or part of their royalties from publications dealing with Native Americans to the Native American Scholarship Fund. Individual donations are welcome as well. For more information about either nominating eligible individuals for the scholarship or contributing to the fund, please contact SAA, 900 Second St. NE #12, Washington, DC 20002-3557, (202) 789-8200; fax (202) 789-0284, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tristine Lee Smart and Joe Watkins are vice-chair and chair, respectively, of the Native American Scholarships Committee.