Virginia Snake-Bumann

Xąąwįgik’sučį (Snake that Moves the Grass in the Hoocąk language) is Hoocąk from the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, as well as descended from the Sicangu Lakota Oyate in South Dakota. She is currently studying at Dartmouth College, working towards a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies with a focus in law and policy. She participates in several extracurriculars in the Native and Indigenous community at Dartmouth as well as within the greater community.

Apart from academics, she is also an artist, seamstress, athlete, and advocate for contemporary Native American issues. In the 8th grade, she was selected to attend a college preparatory school in Omaha, NE named Duchesne Academy, where she became known for spreading awareness on topics such as the Dakota Access Pipeline, MMIW, Residential Schools, American Indian Religious Freedom, cultural appropriation, and the rights of Indigenous people to show their culture and heritage in a professional setting. She received multiple Scholastic Arts & Writing awards for her works of charcoal, pottery, and paints depicting her homelands, as well as Native American figures. She was recently asked to speak to her high school for Native American Heritage month about her experience as a Native student in academia, and how she has overcome barriers to make it to an institution such as Dartmouth College.

Virginia believes that it was the teachings and beliefs imparted to her throughout her childhood along with the love and support of her family and community that helped her to become the strong young woman she is today. She has become a role model for many in her community and only hopes to inspire others to continue to work towards their dreams and aspirations. She is deeply honored and excited to have been chosen as a Brave Heart Fellow through the Center for Native American Youth and congratulates all other fellows on being chosen.