Jayli Fimbres is one of the growing number of individuals in the Native American community giving back to her people, maintaining cultural values, and acting as a role model for Indigenous youth. As a model, teacher, and professional boxer, Fimbres demonstrates to Native American youth that they can explore any avenue they wish, regardless of what other people think.
Helping Revive the Hidatsa Language
One passion of Fimbres is learning and teaching the Hidatsa language in her community. Currently, the multi-talented individual teaches weekly lessons at the MHA Culture and Language Department in New Town.
“My goal is to become a language teacher to help revitalize our language and bring it back,” Fimbres states. To gain a solid foundation and understanding of the language, Fimbres says that spending time with the tribe elders was a necessity.
Eventually, Fimbres hopes to connect her love of boxing with her Native culture. “I want to have an immersion gym where I can get kids speaking their Native language in the gym,” Fimbres says.
Too often, Native languages are forgotten and not passed down to younger generations. So the fact that Fimbres makes a point to keep the language alive ensures her people always hold onto such a critical piece of culture.
Boxing: An Opportunity to Inspire Others
Regarding her boxing career, Fimbres initially became interested in the sport in high school. She recalls watching a boxing tournament and thinking, “I could give this a try,” and then taking action.
After only three days of practice, her boxing coach felt confident Fimbres was ready for a match. And although she didn’t win, Fimbres became more motivated than ever to excel at the sport.
“I feel like I still have some type of purpose with boxing,” Fimbres says. With that, Fimbres strives to learn as much as she can about the sport to bring that knowledge back to the community.
Modeling: An Accidental Career Move
Fimbres recalls that her modeling career happened essentially by accident. When helping out her friend and Indigenous artist and designer Lauren Good Day, Fimbres found herself in front of the camera modeling Good Day’s clothing line.
Good Day is an incredibly successful designer and has been featured at prominent Indigenous shows like the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Guild Museum in Phoenix.
So, after appearing in one of Good Day’s photoshoots, Fimbres was soon after featured in an issue of Vogue. To Fimbres, it’s still unbelievable that she appeared in Vogue, as her initial priority was simply promoting and supporting another Indigenous entrepreneur.
Influence on the Native American Community
Fimbres continuously acts as an influential and positive role model for Indigenous women striving to pursue their goals. With that, Fimbres proves that whether or not a person’s passions seemingly “fit together,” they can still be successful.
For instance, Fimbres combines her passions for boxing, teaching the Native language, and modeling. And with that passion, she is constantly giving back to her Native community, ensuring that those younger than her have more than she did growing up.
“Seeing her flourish in every one of her passions from boxing, language, and community is inspiring,” Good Day attests. With all the positive action Fimbres is currently taking, there’s no doubt she will continue to inspire those around her for years to come.