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Frank Adakai’s books available on Amazon

By Colleen Keane
Special to the Times


If one of your resolutions for the new year is to read more of your favorite authors, consider adding Frank Adakai’s name to your literary list.

Courtesy photo | Frank Adakai
Dineh’ Kei’ Gei’ Yah’ Dail’ Tei,’ “We Speak in the Dine Language” by Frank Adakai

Adakai recently published three books on – Yel’nah’yah’, “One Who Has Walked It”; Dineh Kei’ Gei’ Yah’dail’Tei’, “We Speak in the Dineh’ Language’; and “I am going to North Dakota.”

Adakai, 80, whose maternal clan is Tódich’ii’nii and paternal clan is Naakai Dine’é, was born and raised in Manuelito, New Mexico.

The trilogy follows Adakai’s life as a tribal police officer and federal agent, a mentor to Dine’ youth and a grandparent.

Throughout the stories, he emphasizes the importance of traditional teachings and how they lead to a successful life. In Yel’nah’yah, “One Who Has Walked It,” he reminds readers that Diné traditional teachings encourage individuals to make contributions to their communities and society and achieve their personal goals, like he and many other tribal members have and are doing.

Among his many achievements, he mentored tribal youth in the 1960s as the coach of the Deputies, a Little League baseball club. Navajo Times publisher Tom Arviso was one of the team players.

“He was a remarkable coach and caring person,” said Arviso. “He has helped many people throughout his life and career.”

In Dineh’ Kei’Gei’Yah’Dail’Tei’, “We Speak in the Dineh Language,” Adakai stresses the importance of preserving the Navajo language. He adds that language teachers need to delve into the history and origin of the words.

“Mostly Navajo language teaching is nothing more than teaching conversational Diné,” he said. “Students need to know how the words came about to know what they’re talking about.”

In “I am going to North Dakota,” Adakai recounts summer trips with his wife Corie and grandson Jax to visit Jax’s maternal family on Ojibwe tribal lands in North Dakota. During their travels, Jax, or Toh’ Lah’ Chee’ (Pure Red), learned about the Medea ceremonies of his grandmother’s people.

“It was a learning process for him,” said Adakai, who wrote the book to encourage parents and grandparents to travel with their children and grandchildren. “It will benefit the whole family,” he stressed. As will reading all three books for the start of a good new year.

Information: visit and search Frank Adakai. Also see: Navajo Times, Sept. 17, 2020, author-says-traditional-knowledge-is-key-to-successful-life/ 2


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