Colonial Michilimackinac – American Indian Interpreter

Department: Museum Programs
Location: Colonial Michilimackinac, Mackinaw City
Start Date/End Date: Early May through early October
Pay Rate: Starting at $10/hr

Accepting applications for the 2020 season.

Scope of Duties:
This position serves visitors to Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP) by working as a historic interpreter at Colonial Michilimackinac, a reconstructed 18th century fortified fur trading center in Mackinaw City, Michigan. This full-time seasonal position is responsible for interpreting the role of Native Americans at Michilimackinac during the 18th century.


  • Put visitors to Colonial Michilimackinac and other MSHP sites first by treating them with respect, serving their needs, and providing an enjoyable and educational experience.
  • Interpret the lives of Native people visiting Michilimackinac for trade, diplomacy, and military purposes in the late 18th century.
  • Interpret and maintain the recreated summer encampment site, including seasonal lodges and other temporary structures.
  • Present formal and informal interpretative programs about the history and traditions of the Odawa and Ojibwa Indians, including their role in the Great Lakes fur trade, their relationship with Europeans, their technology, material culture, and foodways, and their social structures.
  • Wear and interpret recreated clothing and accouterments that reflect the appearance of Odawa and Ojibwa Indians in the 1770s.
  • Participate in other regularly scheduled interpretive presentations and special events as required.

Position Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Must have an interest in historical interpretation and be dedicated to public engagement and education.
  • Must be outgoing, enthusiastic, self-motivated, and have strong public speaking skills.
  • Must have an interest in the interpretation of Native American traditions and history.
  • Membership in a federally-recognized upper Great Lakes Odawa or Ojibwa tribal band is strongly preferred, but is not a requirement of employment.
  • Experience with or interest in historic interpretation, historically appropriate Native crafts and cultural traditions such as quillwork, beadwork, leather work (including tanning), birchbark construction, stone and wood carving, gardening, and cooking is recommended.
  • Must be able to work assigned position length. Position works 23 weeks, from early May through mid-October.

Work Location and Schedule:
This is a full-time seasonal position, which typically works 40 hours per week for 23 weeks from early May through mid-October. The workstation for this position is Colonial Michilimackinac, although the employee may be required to work at other MSHP park sites. The position is primarily based outdoors at the recreated Native summer encampment just east of Colonial Michilimackinac. Work schedules are posted in advance and are subject to change depending on park operational needs. The employee may be asked to work evenings, holidays, and/or weekends as park needs dictate.

Physical Requirements:
Stretching and bending are moves commonly made throughout the day by employees in this position. The employee must have the ability to do the following activities, with or without reasonable accommodation: frequent lifting, carrying, transporting, loading and unloading of up to 35lbs., walking on rough terrain and walking long distances in all weather conditions, frequent twisting, bending, stooping, reaching and grasping, sitting, kneeling and/or standing for long periods of time. The employee will be required to wear a historic costume at all times while working indoors and outdoors in various weather conditions. This position will be exposed to extreme heat conditions working within historic buildings and outdoors around the site; employees must be able to work in this type of environment.

Dress Code:
The park maintains a dress code for employees in the public service to promote a productive and safe work environment and to maintain MSHP’s public image. This means no inappropriate hairstyles, jewelry, clothing or fashion statements are allowed. Employees are required to be in approved park costume at all times while on duty, which includes the wearing of proper footwear. The park will furnish the employee with the required costume items which must be returned at the end of seasonal employment. Violation of the dress code may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The employee works under the direction of the Curator of History and the Colonial Michilimackinac lead interpreter.

General Position Information:
This is a temporary seasonal at-will position which serves at the will of the employer and does not include recall rights or benefits (other than those mandated by governmental laws). This position will expire at the time employment is ended for the season and the employee does not have recall rights to this or any other MSHP position in the future. Specifically, the park is under no obligation to hire the individual in subsequent seasons. The number of weeks and hours worked may vary as park needs dictate. Additional information will be provided upon employment.

Due to the high volume of applications received, only those applicants invited to interview will be contacted.

Click here to fill out an application. 

Questions or cannot apply online?
Please contact:

P.O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
231-436-4100 x111

[ back ]