A citizen of the Pawnee Nation, James Riding In is the editor of Wicazo Sa Review: A Journal of Native American Studies. He writes from the perspective that seeks to empower Indian nations, communities, and peoples in their struggles to overcome the harmful consequences of colonialism. Much of his research focuses on the role scientists have played in the desecration of American Indian burials and measures Indians have taken to curb those widespread abuses. His scholarship also examines the effects of colonialism on the sovereignty, landholdings, human rights, health, welfare, religious freedom, and cultural integrity of Indian nations. He is the co-editor of "Native Historians Write Back: Decolonizing American Indian History" (2011). He is now working on a book about Pawnee cultural survival under colonization. This teaching covers such areas as federal Indian law, cultural resources laws, rights and movements, policy, and research paradigms.
His service spans various activities. In addition to being the founding chair of the Board of Trustees of Pawnee Nation College, he served an expert witness in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse et al; A. A. ex rel. Bettenbaugh v. Needville Independent School District; Hualapai Tribe, Norris Nez, and Bill Bucky Preston v. U.S. Forest Service et al; and Ohio v. Bellecourt et al. His participation in local, regional, and national repatriation consultations, meetings, and initiatives on behalf of the Pawnee Nation has contributed to the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. In 2006, he was the feature writer of the National Museum of the American Indian Speaker Series. In 2017, he served as a consultant in a Section 106 Consultation at the U.S. Air Force Academy and accepted an invitation to become a co-chair of the Advisory Board for the Genoa Indian School (Nebraska) Digital Reconciliation Project.
He is currently the interim director and associate professor of American Indian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.