|SAA president Joe Watkins|
The failure of SAA officials to protect three of Yesner's victims/survivors present at the meeting (all three of whom have since gone public about the distress they were put through) caused a major upheaval in the organization and way beyond, especially as those officials stumbled their way through one excuse after another. The good news is that SAA members and other activists around the world have put huge pressure on the organization to get things right in the future.
The bad news, however, is that SAA officers, including some members of its board, have yet to fully understand what they did wrong. Indeed, SAA's executive director, Oona Schmid, and its president, Joe Watkins, have lurched back and forth between apologizing for not acting sooner and continuing to defend their actions and insisting they could have done nothing differently.
The following email, which was shared with me by a source who will have to remain anonymous, was sent by Joe Watkins to a colleague and takes the form of responses to questions that were posed to him. This email was then shared with what I believe to be a number of other people, and so it has already been seen by at least some SAA board members. Given that it did not remain private between Joe Watkins and his interlocutor, and that it is being used by some to counter criticisms of SAA, I am taking the liberty of pasting it below. I have removed some potentially identifying material, but as far as I know the email's text is complete.
I will make no comment on it myself--I believe the archaeological community will have plenty to say about it--other than to briefly correct several statements that are incorrect. The email (actually a series of responses that Joe made to questions posed to him) follows, stripped of identifying information: