Na fineachan Gàidhealach  / The Highland Clans

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The Association

The Association of Highland Clans & Societies was founded in Inverness at a meeting held in the Highland Council Archive & Registration Centre in the course of the annual Battle of Culloden Commemoration weekend in 2013. Highland clan societies and associations had been considering the need for such a body for some years, both as a means of bringing the clans together within the Highlands, and of giving the clans in the Highlands - and particularly their representative bodies - a collective voice in discussions with chiefly and governmental bodies based in the Lowlands, and Scottish interest and clan bodies outside of Scotland.

The Objectives of the Association, as laid down in the Constitution agreed on 12 April 2013 are:

        To provide a means whereby the Societies, Associations, or Individuals (Chiefs or Commanders) representing the members of Highland Clans can get together to pursue joint aims, such as:              
                        (i). Sharing experience and expertise relating to the running of clans and clan societies.             
                        (ii). Organising joint clan-related events in the Highlands.             
                        (iii). Representing the Highland Clans in discussions with bodies organising joint clan events outwith the Highlands ....             
                        (iv). Receiving reports from, stimulating discussion about, and requesting action by the representatives of the Highland Clans sitting on other bodies.             
                        (v). Promoting projects that will benefit all Highland Clans.             
                        (vi). Supporting research into and the spread of knowledge about the nature and history of clans in the Highlands, and of the society they were and are a part of.

The representatives of all the clans at the meeting agreed that it was important the Association emphasised the diversity of its membership: some clans with chiefs, some without; some clans with societies/associations, some without (and for those that do have them, societies/associations that differ markedly in structure and membership, both national and international). It was also stressed that the Association should aim to promote clans not just for the benefit of the tourist industry - vital though that is in the Highlands - but also for their own sakes (as important cultural and social institutions) and for the benefit of our members.

Who is eligible to join? Clause 4 of the Constitution defines a Highland Clan thus:

                (i). In the context of the AHCS, “Highland” refers to the Gaidhealtachd or the area to the north and west of the Highland Line.
                (ii). In the context of the AHCS, “Clan” means any family or name recognised as such at any time by the crown, government, or authoritative historical tradition.
                (iii). In both cases, any dispute about eligibility to become a member of the AHCS will be settled by a vote of the existing Council of the AHCS.

While only those judged to be Highland Clans are eligible for full membership (with voting rights on policy matters), we aim to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to discussions about clans and related subjects, and attendance at the events we organise. Clans from outwith the Highlands are therefore welcome to join as Associate Members (and thus benefit from available discounts for any events or services we may provide).

The membership year runs from 1st April to 31st March. A current Membership Application Form can be accessed via the link below.

Full Constitution

More about Aims & Objectives

Officers & Committee of the Association

Membership Application Form 

© 2013 Association of Highland Clans & Societies