The Ontario Archaeological Society
Statement of Ethical Principles
Effective March 31, 2003
Archaeology is the search to know and understand humanityís past. This desire to learn about our common heritage is shared with many groups including: First Nations; avocationals; students; teachers; genealogists; historians; cultural resource managers; academic researchers; and the public at large. In order to protect the information obtained from archaeological sites so that all will benefit, each archaeological practitioner must adhere to a set of principles and ethics. The members of the Society are proud to proclaim adherence to the following principles.
1 We respect and support all relevant Ontario, Canadian and International legislation and/or Conventions that deal with the practice of archaeology, and the preservation of any nationís heritage.
2 We oppose the purchase, sale and trading of genuine archaeological artefacts, and believe that licensed archaeologists hold artefacts in trust for the people of Ontario until a suitable repository can be found.
3 We believe that it is the responsibility of archaeologists to disseminate the results of research to the archaeological community as well as to the general public in an easily accessible manner, medium and format.
4 We encourage archaeological licence holders to sign the freedom of information declaration that accompanies their licence. This declaration allows the Ministry to promptly release reports without the requirement of contacting the authors for approval.
5 We view altering artefacts, records and/or falsifying reports prepared by others as unacceptable behaviour. Reporting information gathered by others without citation is also deemed unethical.
6 We believe that differing hypotheses must be freely proposed and tested, and that we will contribute to collective knowledge through constructive criticism.
7 We respect the right of First Nations to play a primary role in the conduct of any aboriginal archaeological investigation.
8 We affirm that every reasonable effort should be made to consult and cooperate with First Nations in the stewardship, conservation, and display of aboriginal artefacts, and that the wishes of First Nations must be respected concerning disturbance and re-interment of human remains.
9 We promote stewardship of all archaeological resources, materials from archaeological investigations including artefacts, reports, notes, photos, etc., and believe that these should be maintained in an appropriate repository for long term conservation.
10 Members are obligated to notify the Board of Directors of any material breach of these ethical guidelines, and we support initiatives that the Board may implement to obtain fair resolution to such breach, or to resort to remedies as provided for in our Constitution.