Rose Shields-Jefferson was born July 25, 1944, in Talihina, Oklahoma, to Joseph and Minnie Allen Shields. She is the oldest of 13 children.
Ms. Shields-Jefferson graduated from Haskell Institute in 1965 where she studied commercial cooking.
Ms. Shields-Jefferson is a fluent Chickasaw speaker, having grown up only speaking the language. She now serves on the Chickasaw Language Committee, helping set standards for components of tribal language and publications.
She has been influential in the continuation of the Chickasaw language by implementing new Chickasaw words, along with taking part in the development of the Chickasaw Language Basics app.
She also serves on the Chickasaw Nation Election Commission and is an active member of the Chickasaw Historical Society, Chickasaw Senior Center in Ada, National Indian Council on Aging and is the current vice president of the Ada Circle of Council.
In 2006, Ms. Shields-Jefferson was awarded the Silver Feather Award to recognize her work to preserve Chickasaw traditions, culture and values. Also, in 2013, Ms. Shields-Jefferson was named an AARP Indian Elder Honoree in the state of Oklahoma.
Ms. Shields-Jefferson is well-known for her beadwork, sewing and quilting. She is an active member of the Mitchell Memorial Methodist Church and participates in the Chickasaw Elders Choir.
Her outgoing personality has allowed her to connect with people of all cultures, and she can often be found telling others of her rich Chickasaw heritage.
She and her husband, Gene, have three daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.