Joe Watkins is currently the Director of the Native American Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. He was an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico from 2003-2007. He is Choctaw Indian, and has been involved in archaeology for more than forty years. He received his Bachelor's of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and his Master's of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University, where his doctorate examined archaeologists’ responses to questionnaire scenarios concerning their perceptions of American Indian issues.
His current study interests include the ethical practice of anthropology and the study of anthropology’s relationships with descendant communities and Aboriginal populations, and he has published numerous articles on these topics. His first book Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and Scientific Practice (AltaMira Press, 2000) is in its second printing, and his latest book, Reclaiming Physical Heritage: Repatriation and Sacred Sites (Chelsea House Publishers 2005) is aimed toward creating an awareness of Native American issues among high school students.Dr. Watkins serves as a mediator between various academic disciplines and members of Indigenous groups. Using such an approach, he hopes to continue developing the Native American Studies Program here so that its students will serve as cultural liaisons to translate information back and forth between Native American tribes and the institutions that impact them.