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Values and Commitments

Mission: The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) is dedicated to original research on humanity's past, to the curation of world-class collections, and to sharing our knowledge with the public. We are further committed to educating undergraduates about human diversity, and training graduate students to become anthropological archaeologists. 

Vision: The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA) aims to make archaeology a force for social good and positive change in the world at large and in our local communities. Its curators, students, and staff envision a world where archaeological data are employed to help meet future challenges, both local and global, to the benefit of all members of society.

Responsible Research: UMMAA is an anthropological-archaeological research museum dedicated to the collaborative and ethical collection and interpretation of archaeological and ethnographic data and material culture. Our goal is to do this for the benefit of descendant communities, whose legacies we hope to honor through this work, and the University of Michigan, the state of Michigan, the nation, and the world;

Inclusive Education: UMMAA deploys anthropological-archaeological knowledge in order to inspire people—both students and the general public—to contemplate the human condition. We do this by teaching them about the past and how it helps show us both where we are and where we are going, holistically and from a diversity of perspectives;

Meaningful Public Outreach: UMMAA believes that archaeological data and artifacts are public resources, which must be made accessible to all, in consultation and collaboration with descendant communities. We are committed to public outreach through a variety of means, including via the Museum’s independent archaeological press, the timely publication of faculty and student research, collaborative community projects, collections-based teaching, and volunteerism;

Ethical, Collaborative Collections Care: UMMAA
is committed to working with source communities in order to develop best practices in collections care for all of the material culture and knowledge it curates, both archaeological and ethnographic. We encourage innovative collections research and instruction, and we practice ethical acquisition, management, and public dissemination of collections data.