2020 SHA Conference

SHA 2020 Conference



To register for Saturday, October 10, please visit the following link:


To register for Sunday, October 11, please visit the following link:



SHA 2020 Virtual Conference Free to Members (Donations Appreciated)

Due to the experimental nature of this year’s conference, we are holding this year’s conference free of charge to current members who have paid their 2020 annual membership fees (lifetime members are always considered paid). Holding a free conference is important in these times to break down socioeconomic barriers in archaeology, not put undue burden on those undergoing financial hardships, and increase our membership. If you feel you can contribute, we will be recommending a donation of $15 to cover the cost of this virtual conference.

While the conference is free to SHA members, if you feel you can contribute, consider a donation of $15 to cover the cost of this virtual conference. Click on the link below.


Membership Options

If your SHA membership may have lapsed, or you would like to join for the first time, follow the link bellow and pick from either General ($30), Student ($15 with student ID), Family ($35), or go all the way with the Lifetime Membership ($500):


Conference Theme

The ‘ōlelo no‘eau, or Hawaiian proverb, chosen for this year’s conference theme advises us to “wield the paddles together.” The wa‘a, or canoe, was the most important vessel of transportation for the ancient Hawaiian people. Led by a canoe expert, it took entire families coming together to build a canoe in ancient times. Paddling together, facing many challenges along the way, Pelehonuamea brought her family from their ancient homelands to the islands of Hawai‘i. Working together made a difficult journey possible.

This proverb fits archaeology in Hawai‘i today. It embraces
the need we have to face challenges and difficulties by working together. The
canoe is a powerful metaphor for the cooperative leadership that today’s
archaeology needs, as we navigate the many challenges that face us in 2020. In
conceiving of our common goals, both as they relate directly to archaeology and
more broadly to the lives of communities in Hawai‘i today, we must consider how
our work promotes interdisciplinary collaboration, teamwork, and inclusivity.
To do this, archaeology must engage across specializations—within anthropology,
and extending to other knowledge bases—to address the work of compliance,
preservation, and cultural resource management in the islands.

As we come together virtually, in the Society for Hawaiian
Archaeology’s first online conference, we invite conference participants to
consider the many communities—of practice and descent—who (ideally) work
together in stewarding the material traces of Hawai‘i’s past. Archaeologists
may receive unique training to recognize and record these local material pasts,
but they are only one of the many wielding paddles in this canoe. They share
the work of moving this canoe forward with diverse descendant communities,
heritage organizations, museums, state agencies, developers, local construction
crews, university bodies, allied academic disciplines, anthropological
subfields, even specializations within archaeology itself. All have stakes in
and bring a unique perspective to bear on the material past of the Hawaiian
Islands. Today’s archaeologist—whether they are an academic or professional
practitioner—must work with, if not for, these other paddlers. In the spirit of
this year’s theme, SHA 2020 levels this challenge: to consider our own
community’s past successes and failures, and future potential, to meaningfully
engage these communities so as to “wield the paddles [of archaeological
heritage] together” towards a common goal of insuring a future for Hawai‘i’s

With this in mind, the conference committee invites
potential contributors to consider how their own experiences (in Cultural
Resource Management, academic research, community action, and beyond) speak to
the following questions:

What are the unique goals of the different
archaeologically-engaged communities in Hawai‘i? How might they be reconciled
towards a common end?

How does each community, with their own traditional
practices and ways of knowing, understand and approach the material remains of
the past? How do these differences affect constructive engagement between
communities? What is to be done when conflicts arise?

How might the many communities involved promote the mutual
respect for their unique knowledge bases and practical needs necessary to
ultimately “wield the paddles together”?

Society for Hawaiian Archaeology (SHA) will be giving three awards.  If you have any questions or would like to donate money to an award fund, then please email the Conference Planning Committee (sha2020honolulu@gmail.com).

Cultural Stewardship Award:  Each year the Cultural Stewardship Award celebrates an individual or group working in the Native Hawaiian community that practices responsible stewardship of Hawaiʽi’s cultural heritage. Nominations are usually only considered on the island that the conference is hosted, but since this year’s conference is virtual and will not be on any one island, nominations from anywhere in Hawai’i will be considered.

This award is designed to acknowledge the successful contributions made by persons or organizations to the sustainable welfare of Hawaiʻi’s culture and their commitment to long-term stewardship of these resources.  Submit a letter of nomination describing the individual or group being nominated and explain why they are deserving of this award. Email any relevant supporting documents to the Conference Planning Committee (sha2020honolulu@gmail.com), no later than September 30, 2020.  

—->Click here for the Cultural Stewardship Award Form <—–

Fellowship Award for Lifetime Achievement:  
The second Fellowship Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented to an archaeologist, with work in Hawai’i for specific accomplishments that are truly extraordinary, widely recognized as such, and of positive and lasting quality. Any professional archaeologist may submit nominations for this award and the strongest nominees will have made significant contributions to the field of Hawaiian archaeology, broadly, as well as to the SHA organization, specifically.  Submit a letter of nomination describing the archaeologist who is being nominated and explain why they are deserving of this award. Email any relevant supporting documents to the Conference Planning Committee (sha2020honolulu@gmail.com), no later than September 30, 2020.

Student Presentation Award:  The Student Presentation Award contest recognizes the contributions of student members to Hawaiian archaeology.  Any student member of SHA who is in good standing, and is presenting research to the SHA 2020 conference is eligible to participate. All co-authors must be students and the first author must be a SHA member.  The winner or winning team receives recognition during the Awards Ceremony, and an acknowledgement.  To be considered, students must have already submited their paper to the Conference Planning Committee, sha2020honolulu@gmail.com. If you are a student and already submitted an abstract and would like to be considered for this award, just let the committee know at the above e-mail.

—->Click here for the Student Presentation Award Form <—–

If you need to sign up or renew your SHA membership visit: https://hawaiianarchaeology.org/register-2/