Native American Scholarships Fund

Submission period opens October 1 annually
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET

Applications follow descriptions.

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). Please note: This scholarship will not be offered in 2021.
  • 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. Amount awarded is up to $6,000 with two to four scholarships available each year. SAA NASF Application 2021
  • SAA Native American Undergraduate Archaeology Scholarship supports undergraduate studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care. Amount awarded is up to $6,000 with one scholarship available each year. SAA NASF Application 2021
  • SAA Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship supports graduate studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care. Amount awarded is up to $11,000 with one scholarship available each year. SAA NASF Application 2021
  • 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. Amount awarded is set at $4,000 in 2021 with one scholarship available each year. Learn more about Bertha Parker Cody.  (1907–1978). Bertha Parker Cody Award Application 2021

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

2020 Scholars
Arthur C. Parker Scholarship
Patrick Burtt

NSF Training Scholarships
Dominic Bush
Vikki Preston

SAA Native American Undergraduate Scholarship
Not Awarded 

SAA Native American Graduate Scholarship
Natalie Lolar

SAA Native American Scholarship
Emily Van Alst