As an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe (#1095), Mary Jane grew up near Kooskia, Idaho, and spent summers in Los Angeles for work experience. During her senior year of high school, she moved to Lapwai and later earned an Associate Degree in Music from Bacone Junior College, Oklahoma.


Her career began at the Save the Children Federation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, followed by various roles in tribal programs. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Lewis Clark State College through night classes and obtained a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Her service extended to Indian churches on the Navajo and Tohono O’odham Reservations, where she pursued and completed a Doctorate in Ministry in 2013.

Currently, she serves the First and Second Indian Presbyterian Churches in Kamiah, Idaho, and is the Chaplain of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee. Her interests include piano playing, mountain drives, camping, attending pow-wows, and reading about indigenous history. She advocates for the Indian Child Welfare Act and cherishes the Nimiipuu homeland’s seasons and the Clearwater River’s beauty.