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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : features April 29, 2016

8/14/2012 6:00:00 AM
Author tells story growing up Navajo, shares clan's history
Della Toadlena tells all in personal memoir, 'Our Story: Nihahané'
Navajo-Hopi Observer

CHINLE, Ariz. - Author and Navajo Della Toadlena felt that her children didn't know the history and origin of her Navajo clan. It was this reason she decided to pen her new book, "Our Story: Nihahané." Trafford Publishing has published the book.

In "Our Story," Toadlena describes where and how her traditional clan came about, and then shares her childhood growing up on the Navajo Reservation along with her educational experiences at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Mission Schools.

"I believe my book will appeal to young Native Americans who are constantly looking for people that will provide role models and help them see that they can become and accomplish whatever they set their minds to," said Toadlena.

Toadlena was born in Canyon Del Muerto and grew up around the Black Rock area in northeastern Arizona on a very remote part of the Navajo Reservation. She was raised under the tutelage of her elderly ancestry, instilling in her the importance of remembering their story and carrying it on to her descendants. She earned an AA and a BA in elementary education and an MA in English. Toadlena joined the Humanities Division faculty at Dine College where she taught writing and introduction to Native American Literature until she retired in 1997.

"Our Story: Nihahané" can be purchased at

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