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Shirley K. Sneve
Indian Country Today

Happy Mother’s Day, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve!

I’m honored to call you mother. My earliest memories of Mom is that of a storyteller. It was just her and me — at home while Dad went off to work. In order to get me to take my afternoon nap (so she could rest), she made up a series of stories about a good witch named Helen Ween. You see, when people said Halloween is coming, I thought we would have a visitor, named Helen.

She was an English and history major at South Dakota State University. She amazed me with her artistic abilities — she sang, played piano, painted and made amazing start quilts for our family rites of passage. She taught me how to cook, clean and garden.

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In Flandreau, South Dakota, when lugs of Colorado peaches showed up at the grocery store, we got to work — making pies to freeze and enjoy in the winter.

My first year of college, Mom won a writers contest, which launched her 40-plus year career as an author — novels and history books — all with a common theme of celebrating her Native American heritage. Literature is huge in her life. She always has her nose in a book.

I’m grateful for her love of life and family. She is truly a culture bearer of the people.

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