Born on the Cold Lake Reserve, Herman attended a residential school and battled alcohol before taking up aboriginal studies at Grant MacEwan College and going to work for the Native Counseling Services of Alberta.
In 1989, he decided to pursue performing arts and a year later was cast as a Sioux warrior in Kevin Costner's epic film, a portrayal that launched a distinguished career.
The son of a fur trapper who lived off the land in northeastern Alberta, Herman appeared in numerous movies and television programs over the last two decades, including a 10-year stint as Joe Gomba - a fur trapper - in the CBC series North of 60. He was also cast in the film Reindeer Games, had a cameo role in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning western Unforgiven, played Geronimo in a made-for-cablemovie and appeared on the X-Files.
Jimmy appeared in seven Euro-westerns: “Phantom Town” (1997), “Gunslinger’s Revenge” and 'Winnetou Returns' (TV) (both 1998) “The Claim” (1999) , “Grey Owl” (2000), ‘Johnson County War’ (TV) (2002), DreamKeeper (TV) – 2003
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