Jimmy Herman

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Jimmy Herman
Born (1940-10-25)October 25, 1940
Cold Lake Reserve, Alberta, Canada
Died September 13, 2013(2013-09-13) (aged 72)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Resting place Cold Lake Reserve, Alberta
Occupation Actor
Years active 1984–2007

Jimmy Herman (October 25, 1940 - September 13, 2013) was an Aboriginal Canadian actor who appeared in several films, including Dances with Wolves among others.[1][2]

He was born on the Cold Lake Reserve in Alberta, Canada. His descents were Chipewyan and Dene. Herman moved to Edmonton in 1980 to study at Grant MacEwan College's Native Communications Program. There, he received the Malcolm Calliou Award for his ambition to succeed, and to inspire other Aboriginal people to do the same. After his graduation from Grant MacEwan, he accepted employment with Native Counseling Services of Alberta as a media assistant in the media department. During this time, he did some narration work for Native Counseling Services, ACCESS radio, and the National Film Board.

A small part in a CBC Television pilot program called John Cat, based on a W. P. Kinsella book, sparked Herman’s interest in acting, and he decided to leave his position at Native Counseling Services to pursue a career in the performing arts. In April 1989, he got his big break when a Los Angeles casting agent chose him for a part in Dances With Wolves. His minor role in the movie, playing a Sioux warrior named Stone Calf, was a boost for his career, and he did not look back.

He went on to perform numerous roles in feature films and television series in Canada and the United States, including an extra in the Academy Award winning western, Unforgiven, The X-Files and a ten-year stint on CBC's North of 60, portraying fur trapper Joe Gomba. In 2005, the Dreamspeakers Film Festival Society in Edmonton honoured him with a place on the Aboriginal Walk of Fame.

Passionate about his art and the opportunity to be a positive role model in the Aboriginal community, Herman spoke frequently to Aboriginal youth in schools and at special events, encouraging them to take pride in who they are. He also turned towards political activism, seeking diplomatic solutions and bringing his voice to the debate surrounding Aboriginal treaty rights. Keenly aware that his fame could help draw attention to certain political causes, Herman used his own good fortune as a tool to better Treaty 6 communities.


Year Title Role
1990 Dances with Wolves Stone Calf
1992 Unforgiven Train Person #2
1993 Geronimo Old Geronimo
Medicine River Lionel James
1994 Warrior Spirit Mukoki
Blind Justice Shaman
Road to Saddle River
1995 Tecumseh: The Last Warrior Cornstalk
1996 Crazy Horse Conquering Bear
1996 Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years Little Wolf Episode: Medicine
1998 Phantom Town Attendant
1999 Grey Owl Chief Pete Misebi
2000 Reindeer Games Bartender
The Claim Third miner
2003 Dreamkeeper Multnomah Elder
Coyote Waits Ashie Pinto
2005 Hank Williams First Nation Uncle Martin
Santa's Slay Vinny
Little House on the Prairie Osage TV mini-series
2007 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Yellow Bird


  1. ^ Jimmy Herman Biography at Filmreference.com.
  2. ^ Klinkenberg, Marty (2013-09-10). "Dances With Wolves actor Jimmy Herman dies in Edmonton". Edmontonjournal.com. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 

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