Roxanne Jimerson-Friday of the Shoshone tribe will be ordained to the priesthood by the Rt. Rev. John Smylie, the Bishop of the Diocese of Wyoming. She is the first woman of the tribe to be ordained in the Episcopal church. Jimerson-Friday is a member of the Shoshone from her mother’s family, and the Seneca Nation of New York from her father.
Jimerson-Friday was born in Wyoming, in the Wind River Indian Reservation. but grew up in New York until she was ten, when she moved back. She now lives in Ethete, Wyoming. She always felt called to ministry; realizing that her friends and family always turned to her for help. Then, she says, she witnessed a miracle. Her grandson almost died; “It was one of those points where you say, ‘I promise I’ll go to church more if you help me, God.’” She promised God she would serve and bring people to him. She said, “I made that promise with my whole heart and then everything seemed to fall into place like a path was made just for me.” Her grandson survived, and Jimerson-Friday began to actively pursue ministry. She hopes that as a priest, she can help to mitigate friction between tribes on the Wind River Reservation.
As for being seen as a trailblazer, she says, “It’s a matter of uplifting all the Native American women, that you can do whatever you want to do.”