The Saskatchewan Professional Archaeologists Group (SPAG) formed in 1977 with the intent to establish professional standards and a code of ethics. In 1980, the group applied for chapter status with the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society. At the spring 1987 meeting, a code of ethics was proposed and a strategy for Saskatchewan archaeology was outlined. At the fall 1987 meeting, the group adopted a new constitution and a set of bylaws and a new name – the Saskatchewan Association of Professional Archaeologists (SAPA).
As the consulting industry has steadily increased through more natural resource development in the province, issues surrounding this development have continued to keep the professional group in discussions. The organization meets twice a year (once at the SAS Annual Gathering, and in November) to talk about how best to represent our profession, the role of the archaeologist in connecting with not only their clients but also with the descendants of the people and cultures they are researching, to government regulations and permitting, to holding workshops.
The organization has held or hosted several key workshops and conferences during its existence:
1) An Elder’s workshop in 1994
2) A geophysical workshop in 2007
3) An historic artifacts workshop in 2008
4) First Nations, Métis and Archaeologists: Collaborative Approaches Towards Understanding Our Past in 2013.
Another important contribution SAPA has made to Saskatchewan archaeology is the production of a “road map” for the province’s centennial in 2005. This map shows the locations of over 22,000 recorded sites (on a large scale); the other side describes the archaeological materials found – projectile points and pottery being the two key age indicators for sites. The map continues to be a popular purchase at the Archaeology Centre’s Den of Antiquity.