As a Federal archaeologist and a Choctaw Indian, Joe Watkins is uniquely qualified to speak about the relationship between American Indians and archaeologists. Tracing the often stormy relationship between the two, Watkins highlights the key arenas where the two parties intersect: ethics, legislation, and archaeological practice. Watkins describes cases where the mixing of indigenous values and archaeological practice has worked well and some in which it hasn't -- both in the United States and around the globe. He surveys the attitudes of archaeologists toward American Indians through an inventive series of of hypothetical scenarios, with some eye-opening results. And he calls for the development of Indigenous Archaeology, in which native peoples are full partners in the key decisions about heritage resources management as well as the practice of it. Watkins' book is an important contribution in the contemporary public debates in public archaeology, applied anthropology, cultural resources management, and Native American studies.
This important book offers a unique lens on archaeology and its practitioners. Native American archaeologist Joe Watkins gives us a penetrating analysis of what archaeologists think about themselves and their subject, framed by his inimitable wit and tact. Indigenous Archaeology is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of archaeology as a profession.--K Anne Pyburn, (Indiana University)