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Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve's Biography

Member Info

52 years to Vance M. Sneve
Feb 2008

1617 Debra Drive, #110

Rapid City, SD 57702ph: 605 716-3877 email: vsneve@rushmore.com


Married to Vance M. Sneve; 3 children, 5 grandchildren Earned DegreesB.S., South Dakota State College, 1954, English and HistoryM.ed., South Dakota State University, 1969, Education and GuidanceHonorary DegreesDoctorate of Letters, Dakota Wesleyan University, 1979

Professional Experience

1987 - 95 Associate Instructor, English, Ogalala Lakota College, Rapid City Extension, retired 1985 - 1995 Secondary Counselor, Rapid City Public Schools, retired1986 - 1990 Bicultural Resource Teacher, Rapid City Public Schools1980 - 85 Counselor, Flandreau Indian School, Flandreau, South Dakota1975 - 80 Teacher, English, Flandreau Indian School1965 - 70 Teacher, English, Flandreau Indian School1955 - Teacher, English, Pierre Jr. High School, 1st sem.1954 - 55 Teacher, English, White Public High School, White, SD

Awards & Honors

2007 SD Governor’s Award in the Arts for Distinction in Creative Achievement2004 Mountains and Plains Book Sellers Regional Award 2002 National Book Festival, Library of Congress2000 National Endowment for the Humanities Medalist from President Clinton1999 Author of the Year, South Dakota English Teachers1998 Golden Spur Award, Western Writers of America for The Trickster and the Troll1997 Living Indian Treasure, Northern Plains Tribal Arts, SD for the Arts1996 Human Rights Award, South Dakota State Counselors Association for "helping give opportunities to individuals to live and participate more fully and freely in society."1996 Author-Illustrator Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association: for books and stories which have helped readers throw off stereotypes and learn to appreciate Native American cultures.1996 Spirit of Crazy Horse Award, from Black Hills Seminars, Youth at Risk, for Creating Courage in discouraged youth.1995 October, Rapid City Citizen of the Month1994 SD Education Assoc. Human Services Award1992 Native American Prose Award, University of Nebraska Press1992 Distinguished Native American Alumnus, SD State University1986 Outstanding Part-time Instructor, Ogalala Lakota College, Rapid City Extension1984 Writer of the Year, Western Heritage Hall of Fame1982 Distinguished Contribution to South Dakota History, Dakota History Conference1975 National Woman of Achievement, National Federation of Press Women1975 Special Contribution to Education, SD Indian Education Assoc.1974 Woman of Achievement, South Dakota Press Women1974 Distinguished Alumnus, South Dakota State University


Works for Children

Jimmy Yellow Hawk, Holiday House, 1972 High Elk's Treasure, Holiday House 1972; Holiday House, 1995 U of Nebraska rpt.When Thunders Spoke, Holiday House,1974; University of Nebraska rpt, 1992Betrayed, Holiday House 1974The Chichi HooHoo Bogeyman, Holiday House,1975; University of Nebraska rpt, 1992Holiday House, 1989 (also Oxford U. Press, Canada)The First American Series, Holiday House, NY 10017. THE SIOUX, 1993; THE NAVAJOS,1993; THE SEMINOLES, 1994; THE NEZ PERCE, 1994; THE HOPIS, 1995; THE IROQUOIS, 1995; THE CHEROKEE, 1996; THE CHEYENNES, 1996; THE APACHES, 1997Enduring Wisdom, Holiday House, NY, 2004BAD RIVER BOYS, Holiday House, Fall 2005Lana’s Lakota Calendar, University Of Nebraska Press, 2007

Works for adults

South Dakota Geographic Names, editor, Brevet Press, Sioux Falls, SD, 1973The Dakotas Heritage, Brevet Press, 1975They Led a Nation, Brevet Press, 1975That They May Have Life: The Episcopal Church in South Dakota, 1859 - 1976, Seabury Press, NY, 1977. Completing the Circle, University of Nebraska Press, 1995.

Adult and Children

The Trickster and the Troll, U of Nebraska, 1997 Grandpa Was a Cowboy and An Indian, U of Nebraska 2000In ProgressThe Christmas Coat, Holiday House, fall 2008Numerous short stories, essays, articles, and poems.
Virginia Driving Hawk was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. She attended Bureau of Indian Affairs Day schools on the reservation and graduated from St. Mary's High School for Indian Girls, Springfield, SD in 1950. She Received a B. S. (1954) and M.ed (1969) from South Dakota State University, Brookings, S. D. She taught music and English at White Public High School and in Pierre Junior High; English, speech, and drama at the Flandreau Indian School and later served as a guidance counselor there. She has also worked as a consultant Producer-writer for South Public TV, and as an editor for Brevet Press, Sioux Falls, SD. She was a counselor at Rapid City Central High School and an associate instructor, English, for Oglala Lakota College Rapid City Extension. She retired from both positions on June 1, 1995.

Her first book was published in 1972 and since then she has published twenty five books and numerous short stories, articles and poems.


Mari Sandoz

Upcoming Works

A Christmas Coat, Holiday House, fall 2008



Recommended Links


Holiday House, New York
University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE