CABA-ACAB Constitution

The current version of the CAPA constitution was proposed in 2000 by then-president Richard Lazenby. At the 2003 and 2004 meetings, the then-president, Andrew Nelson, proposed some additional modifications to accommodate the addition of a student representative to the CAPA executive, changes that reflect the increased use of email and some other issues that had arisen in the intervening years. The revisions were approved at the business meeting of the Association in October 2004.

Revisions to add the position of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer to the executive were approved at the 2019 business meeting. Revisions to add the position of Vice-President to the executive and to change the name of the association to, The Canadian Association for Biological Anthropology (CABA) / l’Association canadienne d’anthropologie biologique (ACAB) were approved at the 2021 business meeting.

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Canadian Association for Biological Anthropology l’Association canadienne d’anthropologie biologique Constitution

Last revision: October 2019
Current revision: February 2022

Article I: Name

I. 1. In 2021 the association membership voted to change the name of the association to, The Canadian Association for Biological Anthropology (CABA) / l’Association canadienne d’anthropologie biologique (ACAB) (hereafter, “the Association”). Our previous name, the Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology (CAPA) / L’Association Canadienne D’Anthropologie Physique (ACAP) is defunct.

Article II: Purpose

II.1. The purpose of the Association is to promote and increase awareness and understanding of biological anthropology among its membership, to supporting institutions and agencies, and to the public at large.

Article III: Organization and Governance

III. 1. A Board of Executive and Managing Officers shall govern the Association.

III. 2. Executive Officers shall include the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary-Treasurer, the Student Representative, the Special Membership Representative, and the EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Officer.

III. 3. Managing Officers shall include the immediate past-President, the Newsletter Editor, and the Communications Representative.

III. 4. Duties

i. the President will Chair the annual business meeting; they will hold votes on constitutional changes and update the constitution when changes have been approved; they will have the powers and authorities typically vested in the Presidency of a learned society; they will discharge these and other duties as directed by the membership of the Association.

ii. the immediate past-President will assist the president, and will assume the role of President in the event of the absence or disability of the President during the first year of the President’s term.

iii. the Secretary-Treasurer will manage the account(s) of the Association; and will collect and disburse funds according to the direction of the membership. The Secretary-Treasurer will prepare an annual report of all financial activity, to be presented and entered into the minutes at the annual business meeting. They will maintain the active membership list, including a list in electronic format. They will take the minutes of the annual business meeting, and will make these available to the Newsletter Editor for distribution to the membership.

iv. The Vice-President will organize and chair the Scientific Program Committee for the annual meetings, and coordinate with the local organizing committee. The Vice-President will organize and chair the annual Awards Committee, and be responsible for public outreach and community engagement of the organization. The Vice-President will assume the role of President in the event of absence or disability of the President during the final two years of the President’s term.

v. The Student Representative will represent the interests of the student members of the association. This will include soliciting and gathering student news for the newsletter and web-site, and voicing specific student concerns to the association executive and to the membership at large.

vi. The Special Membership Representative will represent the interests of those in the special membership category. This will include soliciting and gathering news from other members of this category for the newsletter and website, voicing specific special member concerns to the association executive and to the membership at large, and fostering and promoting programs or connections outside the association to support special members and encourage their continued membership in the association.

vii. The EDI Officer will coordinate the EDI Subcommittee. The officer will solicit and gather news from members for the newsletter and website, serve as a reporting official for equity-seeking members, voice specific EDI and/or anti-colonial concerns to the association executive, and foster and promote programs or connections outside the association to support equity, inclusion, and diversity in the organization.
viii. the Newsletter Editor will produce and distribute the Association’s newsletter, including solicitation of material, copy editing and layout, printing and distribution.

ix. the Communications Representative will maintain the Association’s website (, including the principal and associated pages and hyperlinks, and coordinating with the newsletter editor, conference organizers, and others to maintain current information and resources of interest to the membership and the broader community.

x. the President, Past-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Student Representative are responsible for receiving oral or written communication of possible violations of the CABA-ACAB Code of Ethics by a CABA-ACAB Member; for advising the reporting person as to the process of contacting a representative of the Member’s institution; for making a written record of their communications with the reporting person; and for making this record available to the reporting person upon request.

III. 5. Terms of Office

1. ii. for the Past-President, 1 year

iii. for the Secretary-Treasurer, 4 years

iv. for the Vice-President, 3 years

v. student representative to the Executive, 2 years

vi. special membership representative to the Executive, 2 years

vii. for the EDI Officer, 3 years

viii. for the Newsletter Editor, 3 years

ix. for the Communications Representative, 5 years

2. The President and Vice-President shall be elected for terms of three years each, in alternating years.

III. 6. Eligibility

All members of the Board must be in good standing at election and remain so throughout their terms in office. The Offices of President, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President and EDI Officer must be filled from the pool of regular members; a regular or student member may fill that of Newsletter Editor.

III. 7. Replacement

In the event that any of the executive or managing officers is unable to fulfil their duties over a period of 6 consecutive months, the President or acting-President will strike a nominating committee to seek a replacement who will, once elected, complete the original term of appointment.

III. 8. Staff

The Board may approve the hiring of staff on a pro tem basis as required by the Association’s obligations.

III. 9. Committees

The Association may establish ad hoc or standing committees upon a majority vote of the membership at the annual business meeting. The Board may establish ad hoc committees, including nominating committees, to accommodate opportunities available to, and obligations required of, the Association at any time.

Article IV: Membership and Dues

IV. 1. Categories of Membership

Membership is open to all parties interested in furthering the Purpose of the Association. Membership in the Association will be in one of four categories: regular, student, special and life. Members in good standing have full voting privileges at Annual Meetings of the Association, and are entitled to receive publications of the Association.

i. Regular membership is open to anthropologists and others in cognate disciplines whose practice of research, teaching reflects the Purpose of the Association. This includes faculty at universities in tenure-track and full-tenured positions.

ii. Student membership is open to bona fide graduate and undergraduate students.

iii. Special membership is open to professional anthropologists and professionals in cognate disciplines who work outside of the academy; sessional faculty; post-doctoral fellows; those who are on hiatus from a degree or are between degree programs; non-practicing individuals and institutions (e.g., libraries), with an interest in the Purpose of the Association, as well as advanced graduate students demonstrating professional capacity may apply to the Board for regular membership once exhausting their eligibility for student membership.

iv. Regular Lifetime memberships can be purchased at a cost of 15 times the annual fee at time of purchase.

v. Honorary Lifetime membership is conferred by nomination and acclamation at an Annual Meeting of the Association

IV. 2 Dues

There shall be annual dues of an amount fixed by the Association at an Annual Meeting. Payment of the annual dues maintains good standing and all privileges and entitlements thereof. The membership cycle shall be January to December.

Article V: Meetings and Publications

V.1. Annual Meeting

i. The Association shall hold an annual academic meeting at a time and place established by the Board.

V. 2. Business Meeting

i. An Annual Business Meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual academic meeting.

ii. Matters of the business meeting will be carried out in accordance with the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

V. 3. Publications

i. The Association will publish and distribute to its membership a Newsletter at a frequency to be determined by the membership at an annual Business meeting.

Article VI: Amendment

An amendment to the constitution or by-laws of the Association may be proposed by a minimum of 4 members in good standing. The secretary-treasurer must receive such proposals for amendment at least 2 months prior to the subsequent business meeting. They will distribute such proposals to the Board as received, and will add each such proposal to the agenda of the business meeting, as Other Business. Amendments must be approved by a 2/3rd majority of recognized members attending the business meeting.

Article VII: Dissolution
In the event of dissolution of the Association, all legal and fiscal matters will be undertaken in accordance with Canadian law pertaining to non-profit societies at the time of dissolution.


Section I: Nomination and Election of Officers

I. 1. Nominating Committees: The Executive positions of President, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, Student Representative, Special Membership Representative, and EDI Officer are filled by election. An ad hoc nominating committee of two regular and 1 student member will be struck by the Executive prior to any of the aforementioned positions becoming vacant. The nominating committee will seek at least 2, but not more than 3, qualified candidates from the regular membership. The Managing positions of Newsletter Editor and Communications Representative will be filled by appointment, by the President. Nominations should be received at least 4 months prior to the subsequent annual meeting.

I. 2. Elections: Elections for Executives of the Association will normally be carried out by ballot distributed with announcement of the forthcoming meetings of the Association. This may take the form of surface or electronic mail. In the event that only a single nominee is put forward, the membership will be asked to respond „yea / nay‟. Responses will be collected and tallied by the chair of the nominations committee. The President will announce results by email, in the newsletter and at the annual business meeting.

I. 3. Removal: Any Executive or Managing Officer of the Association may be removed from office prior to the end of their term by a motion to that effect supported by a 2/3 majority of the membership attending the business meeting.

Section II: Membership and Dues

II. 1. Term of membership: Membership begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st.

II. 2. Dues payable. Dues are payable to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Association as of January 1st annually.

II. 3. Delinquency. Members who have not renewed by February 15th of the year following the last full year of paid membership will forfeit good-standing status and entitlements thereof.

II. 4. Termination. Membership may be withdrawn for just cause upon a motion for same receiving a 2/3 majority vote at an annual general meeting.

Section III: Meetings

III. 1. Notice of Meeting: Initial notice of the annual academic meeting will be provided to the membership at least 4 months in advance of the meetings, by the meeting organizing committee, and by the secretary-treasurer of the Association. The organizing committee for the annual meeting will provide suitable electronic text to the secretary-treasurer.

III. 2. Quorum: Quorum for the annual business meeting shall be 1/4 of the members registered at the annual academic meeting.

III. 3. Agenda: The Agenda for the business meeting will include

a) approval of the agenda

b) approval of the minutes from the previous business meeting

c) business arising from the minutes

d) report from the President

e) report from the Vice-President

f) report from the Secretary-Treasurer

g) report from the Newsletter Editor

h) report(s) from committee(s)

i) other business

III. 4. Motions: Motions for inclusion in the formal agenda must be received by the Secretary-Treasurer 4 weeks in advance of the annual business meeting. Motions from the floor will be entertained by the Chair, but will be considered as Other Business only if items on the formal agenda can be attended to in the time allotted to the meeting.

Section IV: Remuneration and Indemnification

IV 1. No member of the Board shall receive remuneration as a result of activities carried out in fulfilling their duties as an Officer of the Association.

IV. 2. No member of the Board shall be found personally liable for obligations of the Association, nor for injuries or damages that result from fulfilment of their duties as Officers of the Association.