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Job Listing: American Indian Interpreter

Job Postings ,

Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg, VA

Closes - Open until filled.

Position Title – American Indian Interpreter

Salary - To be determined.

Job Type - Full-Time

For more info and to apply, click here.

Represent American Indian peoples of the 18th and 21st century in interpretive programming throughout the museum.  Through immersive 18th century Williamsburg history make relevant personal connections with modern audiences. Engage with and educate guests from all walks of life and create dynamic, inspiring, and informative experiences that spark new insight and understanding of our past and present.



  • Apply creative and intellectual skills in developing programming utilizing a variety of presentation styles and interpretive techniques.
  • Synthesize information to create meaningful and relevant interpretations that are guest focused.
  • Create and present pro-active, thematic interpretations that are rooted in historical research and relevant to a modern, diverse audience.
  • Depict how American Indian peoples participated in the Williamsburg community in the 18th century and adhere to the highest standards of historical integrity and stewardship.
  • Adjust interpretations for audience, season, time period, and thematic objectives.
  • Regularly and actively engage with guests at their own level and without personal bias to make subject matter relevant.


  • Research and analyze primary and secondary sources to gain an extensive, in-depth knowledge and understanding of the American Indian communities and people being represented.
  • Research and analyze primary and secondary sources to gain in-depth understanding and well-rounded context of 18th century Williamsburg and American history.
  • Continuously build on historical research and compile in-depth research folder on assigned primary character(s) and related topics.


  • Prepare, rehearse, and perform assigned roles reliably, consistently, and skillfully, with historical and artistic integrity – this includes storytelling, narrations, demonstrations, songs, dances, public audiences or other interpretations
  • Take on the appearance and deportment, and manner of speech of the people you are representing.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Represent the American Indian Initiative for purposes of community outreach.
  • Develop, practice, and refine traditional skills associated with American Indian activity and utilize them in engaging interpretations with guests.
  • Contribute as a positive and active member of an ensemble to create dynamic, inspiring, educational experiences for guests and a healthy and positive work environment for staff.
  • Participate actively in training and incorporate content and skills into interpretations and presentations.
  • Work collaboratively with the entire staff of Colonial Williamsburg to create an exceptional and seamless experience that gives guests the sense of 18th century Williamsburg.
  • Perform with positivity, flexibility, and resiliency in a changing work environment.
  • Perform in assigned programming – normally working a 5-day, forty (40) hour work schedule, including weekends and holidays.
  • Perform other duties as required.


  • Community affiliation with an American Indian tribe, band, pueblo, ranchero, or urban Indian Center.
  • Cultural competency with modern and historical American Indian subject matter
  • Interest and ability in on-going and in-depth study of 18th century American history and diverse American Indian cultures
  • Able to represent 18th century American Indian peoples that interacted in and around Williamsburg
  • Able to synthesize cultural or community information (i.e. linguistics or indigenous skills) with historic information, and organize and present information verbally to diverse audiences
  • Able to present information on sensitive issues
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with colleagues
  • Able to provide excellent guest service, including willingness and ability to serve and assist guests and enhance their experience whenever and wherever encountered.
  • Able to do outreach with diverse tribal groups while representing Colonial Williamsburg and the American Indian Initiative.
  • Able to work independently and take initiative within a set of guidelines and procedures and also take direction and notes when given.
  • Able to free-associate ideas and interpret them thematically.
  • Able to think critically regarding storytelling and educating, and continually improving performance
  • Able to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends, and holidays

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Significant knowledge and understanding of modern American Indian cultures
  • Significant knowledge and understanding of Eastern Woodlands American Indian history and culture
  • Training or experience in museum interpretation, storytelling, customer/guest relations, or acting
  • Traditional American Indian lifeways skills

Knowledge and skills required to fulfill the defined job responsibilities usually acquired through a combination of education and experience equivalent to three years of experience in historical interpretation, teaching, language revitalization, or community membership in an American Indian band, tribe, pueblo, ranchero, or urban Indian Center and cultural content not otherwise learned through formal education and employment.


  • Ability to wear historically accurate and complete 18th century clothing for an entire workday.
  • Ability to perform various functions such as standing, sitting, kneeling/squatting, walking across uneven surfaces, climbing stairs, lifting, seeing in varying light conditions, and participating in some strenuous physical activities


  • Ability to work outside all day in varying weather conditions
  • Ability to come in daily contact with pollen, dust, mold, and seasonal allergens