Joe Watkins is currently the Director of the Native American Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma, as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the University's Department of Anthropology.
He was an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico from 2003–2007, and maintains contact as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology. He is 1/2 Choctaw Indian, and has been involved in archaeology for forty years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University, where his research examined archaeologists' responses to questionnaire scenarios concerning their perceptions of American Indian issues. His research interests include the ethical practice of anthropology and anthropology’s relationships with descendant communities and Aboriginal populations. He has published numerous articles on these topics as a means of trying to increase the conversation between Indigenous groups and anthropologists. He has been intensively involved in the major national anthropological organizations as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for American Archaeology as well as in numerous capacities within committees. He also is a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee of the World Archaeological Congress. His 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.