Sault Tribe
  • - Cultural
  • Sault Ste. Marie , MI, USA
  • SALARY BASED UPON EXPERIENCE: $57,181.29 - $67,860
  • Hourly
  • Full Time


The Repatriation and Historic Preservation Specialist, under the direction of the Assistant Executive Director, is responsible for working on Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indian Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation issues and Historic Preservation issues, including all applicable laws, represents the tribe in both State and Federal matters concerning Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation and Historic Preservation issues.  The position is responsible for drafting, implementing, and updating revisions to Board approved policy and procedures for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation and Historic Preservation both locally and throughout the state of Michigan, and for historically sacred land issues dealing with gravesites and/or cemeteries and when required re-internment. 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: (includes, but is not limited to, the following)

  • Develops and implements strategic, annual, project, and special event plans. 
  • Develops, reviews, and updates departmental policy (for Board approval) and procedures.
  • Coordinates and conducts traditional programs, events, and ceremonies.
  • Provides financial administration, including budget review, budget development, and monitoring program compliance.
  • Prepares and presents narrative, statistical, and financial reports.
  • Handles sacred items and reinterment.
  • Handles sacred land issues dealing with gravesites and/or cemeteries.
  • Point of contact for applicable laws dealing with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation and Historic Preservation issues.
  • Monitor all development, maintenance, or other activities initiated by the Sault Tribe Government that may impact cultural or historic properties on Tribal lands
  • Develop relationships with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
  • Create and maintain an archive and a digital database of significant Tribal documents, traditional cultural properties, treaties, oral histories, recorded interviews, or other appropriate historical documents
  • Ensure all language resource collections are satisfactorily maintained and preserved
  • Identifies potential grant opportunities, develops and submits proposals, and administers grant awards.      
  • Participates in meaningful consultation with museums, universities, agencies, and organizations regarding repatriation or sacred land issues.
  • Acts as the point of contact and responds to inadvertent discoveries of Human Ancestral Remains and Sacred Objects.
  • Acts as the Authorized Transfer Recipient for Human Ancestral Remains and sacred objects.
  • Maintain confidentially of records and information.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: (includes, but is not limited to, the following)

  • One of three individuals that will represent the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians at the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation and Repatriation Alliance (MACPRA).
  • Oversees Ojibwe Learning Center and Library with direction from the Assistant Executive Director
  • Attends Cultural Committee meetings and other committee meetings as assigned. 
  • Other job-related duties as assigned.


Immediate peers, peers in other departments, immediate supervisor/manager, managers in other departments, Executives, Board of Directors, customers, outside vendors/service providers, Native American Organizations, Tribal Elders and Traditional Ojibwe people, and Federal, State, Local and Tribal organizations. 


Position lifts to 20 pounds maximum, with frequent lifting and carrying up to 10 pounds. Physical factors include frequent sitting, driving, and typing; and occasional standing, walking, carrying, lifting, pushing and pulling, climbing, stooping, kneeling, crawling, reaching, manual handling; use of hearing, smell, near, midrange, and far vision, depth perception, color vision, the field of vision and bending. Working conditions include occasional exposure to weather, extreme cold, wet/humidity, noise, vibration, and air quality. Potential hazards include frequent computer use, client contact, occasional moving mechanical parts, exposure to electric shock, highly exposed places, chemicals, insecticides/pesticides, infectious exposure, and equipment. Protective clothing/equipment includes hazard kits, gloves, masks, and other personal protection devices.


Education: Bachelor's Degree in History, Education, Native American Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, or a related field of study required or five years of related work experience may be considered in lieu of education. Master's Degree preferred.

Experience: Must have 3 years of experience working on repatriation of ancestral remains, including researching potential claims, negotiating with public institutions, collaborating with other tribal governments, and coordinating re-interment ceremonies. Possesses training and knowledge in historic and cultural preservation laws, regulations, grants, and issues. Minimum of 1 year of supervisory experience required 3 years preferred.

Certification/License: Must have a valid driver's license and be insured by the Sault Tribe Insurance Department. Must comply with annual driver's license review and insurability standards with the Sault Tribe Insurance Department. Will be required to undergo and successfully pass a background check.  Must maintain a good moral character standing. Will be required to complete and pass pre-employment drug testing. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Must have comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of Anishinaabe. Bimaadziwin Kinoomaaswinan (Ojibwe Life Teachings), including values, philosophy, customs, and ceremonies. Minimal knowledge of Ojibwe Language; fluency in Ojibwe language preferred. Must know about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the National Historic Preservation Act. Must have knowledge of the mission, organization plan, funding sources, laws, regulations, and requirements of the department. Must have knowledge of the Anishinabe Culture, values, philosophy, ceremonies, and customs. Must have computer skills, including using spreadsheets, data, and word processing, and knowledge of grant administration, documentation, and reporting formats. Must know governmental accounting. Must know about strategic planning, project management, and governmental administration skills. Must have excellent organizational skills: organizing work, prioritizing tasks and managing time. Advanced leadership and team-building skills are required. Financial administration and management skills required. Excellent human resource management skills and abilities required.  Good verbal and written communication skills and the ability to collaborate and communicate with professional and academic individuals and institutions are needed. Must be able to deal with spiritually troubling situations. Must be able to work independently and with a group. Must maintain confidentiality. Native American preferred.

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