Highlights of February 7-9 Council Meeting

At its February 7 – 9 meeting in Washington, DC, the SAA Council took the following actions:

  • Adopted the following motion regarding the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials:

THAT the SAA Council recognizes that the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials has raised awareness of significant gaps in our professional literature and practice that should be addressed; and

THAT, although the Council does not endorse the Protocols as written for reasons articulated in the Task Force report, it acknowledges that, in a pluralistic society, there is a need for ongoing dialog regarding matters of cultural sensitivity among archivists, stakeholders, and the many and varied cultures represented within archival repositories; and

THAT the SAA Council charges the President to select or create a body within SAA to identify desired outcomes and develop a draft plan to achieve them (including mechanism, group composition, timeline, and fiscal impact) and to report to the Council at its May 2008 meeting.

Support Statement:  The Protocols for Native American Archival Materials raise significant and powerful issues that require substantive and thoughtful discussion and exploration by the entire archives profession.  The SAA Council honors the effort and generous spirit of communication of the Protocols’ authors. Further dialog is important to ensure mutual understanding. Archivists serve many stakeholders from diverse cultures (records creators, donors, rights holders, users, etc) with whom we should discuss these issues.  SAA commits to setting aside time and resources to explore these issues during the next three years, beginning with a Forum to be held at ARCHIVES 2008 in San Francisco, and encourages regional, state, and local archives organizations to do the same.  The Council invites all interested stakeholders, including the Protocols authors, to join this effort.

  • Endorsed SAA participation in Sunshine Week, an initiative sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to stimulate conversation about open government.
  • In response to two questions arising from the 2007 Annual Membership Meeting:
    • Affirmed the current SAA Constitutional provision that Fellows must be Individual full members of SAA, and therefore a primary contact of an Institutional member is not eligible to become a Fellow unless that individual is also an Individual full member who meets all other eligibility requirements, and
    • Agreed that an Individual full member or student member who is also designated the primary contact of an Institutional member is permitted to cast one vote to represent each membership.
  • Adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy, Procedure for Handling a Conflict of Interest That May Arise During Council Discussion, Procedure for Filing of Disclosure Statement, and Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement to apply to all Council members.  (A similar motion was adopted by the SAA Foundation Board of Directors to apply to that group.)  The statements are to be filed annually.
  • Approved a petition to form the Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable, which will hold its first meeting at ARCHIVES 2008.  Marisol Ramos is provisional chair of the new roundtable.
  • Passed a resolution honoring Yolanda Retter Vargas (1947-2007), an activist who “raised the visibility of and importance of documenting the history of people and communities of color, lesbians, and particularly lesbians of color, in the archival community.”
  • Approved the SAA Standards Committee’s request to undertake a thorough review of the current Standards Committee mission and procedures, with a report to the Council in January 2009.

For more information on these and other Council actions, see the March/April issue of Archival Outlook.  Minutes of the meeting will be posted on the SAA website within 60 days of the meeting. 

The SAA Council and the SAA Foundation Board of Directors will meet again from May 29 to June 1 in Chicago.  If you have recommendations, requests, or concerns to bring to the Council’s attention, contact SAA President Mark Greene (mgreene [@] uwyo.edu) or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont (nbeaumont [@] archivists.org) for information about how to submit your ideas or materials for consideration by the Council.  Information must be received by April 28 in order to be considered at the May 2008 meeting.