About the Collaborative
The Straits of Mackinac Heritage Center Collaborative has evolved from conversations about the future of the Father Marquette National Memorial site in Straits State Park.
Initial collaborative members are:
- Moran Township
- Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
- Lake Superior State University
- Mackinac Straits Health System
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The collaborative is actively seeking additional for-purpose and for-profit partners to join the collaborative. For more information, contact us.
Moran Township is leading local fundraising efforts in collaboration with Heritage Michigan, the foundation that supports the work of the Michigan History Center.
For more information about the collaborative, visit our frequently asked questions page.
The purpose of the Straits of Mackinac Heritage Center Collaborative is to create a place that inspires reflection, learning and healthy lifestyles through cultural and natural resource-based experiences built around the Anishinaabe and French heritage of the region.
About the Site
The Father Marquette National Memorial was designated by the National Park Service in 1975 and opened to the public in 1976 in Straits State Park. The memorial celebrates the life and legacy of Jacques Marquette, the French Jesuit missionary and explorer who founded Sault Ste. Marie in 1668 and St. Ignace in 1671. A state-run museum opened at the site in 1979, but was destroyed by fire in 2000. In addition to a pavilion, the site includes a 15-station outdoor interpretive trail, powwow grounds, an amphitheater and panoramic views of the Mackinac Bridge.
Today, the memorial and Straits State Park are jointly managed by two divisions of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR): Parks and Recreation and Michigan History Center.