About the CAA: Revised Ethical Statements

CAA Membership Survey on Revised Ethical Statements

In the spring of 2018, the CAA created the Ethics Review Committee to review the four ethical statements currently posted on the CAA website and to recommend revisions. The committee consists of two co-chairs and seven members, representing all regions of Canada (see list of committee members at https://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/about/committees/ethics-review-commi...). The committee met virtually several times between 2019 and 2021. Extensive revisions were made to the statements and, in consultation with the CAA Board of Directors, we reduced the four existing ethical statements to two: Principles of Ethical Conduct and Presentation of Human Remains in Canadian Archaeological Association Media. In accordance with our original plan, we are circulating these revised ethical statements to all CAA members to collect your feedback. We will use this feedback to finalize the text of the statements before circulating the final versions in the spring 2022, so that we can vote on the revised statements at the AGM at the CAA conference in Edmonton.

For comparison, you can access the current ethical statements here.



Principles of Ethical Conduct


The Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) is committed to the promotion, protection, and conservation of archaeological heritage in Canada, as well as the advancement and dissemination of archaeological knowledge. The CAA and its members recognize the diverse interests, voices, and perspectives that inform archaeological interpretation, knowledge building, and the dissemination of information. In this document we respect and encourage the use of terminology as determined appropriate by the Indigenous community or communities. The archaeological record in Canada is predominantly that of Indigenous peoples. In this document, the term Indigenous peoples is used in reference to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit as recognized in s. 35 of the Canadian Constitution. We acknowledge the depth and breadth of the archaeological record and its far-reaching significance for Indigenous peoples and descendant populations. Accordingly, members of the CAA will conduct their activities according to the ethics and standards of scholarly practice, with a commitment to safety and non-discrimination, and will recognize the interests of those who may be socially, spiritually, or materially impacted by their work. We also recognize that heritage legislation across Canada remains deeply colonial. While all archaeologists should strive to comply with the spirit of the ethical principles, the CAA acknowledges that there are tensions between supporting Indigenous self-determination and complying with current heritage legislation and regulatory frameworks. We encourage all members to advocate for and work towards bringing existing legislation in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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Presentation of Human Remains in Canadian Archaeological Association Media

The Canadian Archaeological Association requires authors to obtain documented permission from descendant communities to present human remains in any media or form. In addition to genomic considerations, descendant communities are defined here by their historical, cultural, and symbolic associations to places they consider ancestral.

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