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Frontpage of Ádahooníłígíí [1]
Type monthly newspaper
Owner(s) Navajo Agency,
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Editor Robert W. Young
William Morgan, Sr.
Founded 1943
Language Navajo
Navajo and English
Ceased publication 1957
OCLC number 17364489

Ádahooníłígíí (IPA: [átàhòːníɬíkíː] Navajo: "occurrences in the area/current events"[2]) was a monthly newspaper that appeared in the Southwestern United States in the 1940s and early 1950s.[3] After the Cherokee Phoenix, it was the second regularly circulating newspaper in the United States that was written in a Native American Indian language. It was the first newspaper published in Navajo,[4] and to this day, it remains the only publication of its kind that had been written entirely in Navajo.[5][6]


Ádahooníłígíí was published by the Navajo Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Window Rock, Arizona and contributed to the standardization of Navajo orthography,[7] as the only widely available texts intended for a Navajo audience up to that point had been religious publications and parts of Diyin God Bizaad – the Bible.[5] Its first issue appeared in 1943. The paper was edited by Robert W. Young and William Morgan, Sr. who had also worked on The Navajo Language: A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary which serves as the standard reference work to this day.

The newspaper was printed on a single folded sheet of newsprint and distributed through the chapter houses.[8] From 1943 to 1947, it was written entirely in Navajo; after that, articles were published bilingually or with an English summary of its contents. In its early years, the paper's main editorial function was to convey the opinions of "Wááshindoon" regarding World War II to the Navajo people[4] and to provide a connection between those Navajos who served in the United States military and those who had remained at home.[5]

As the effects of the federal government's Indian termination policy reached the Navajo Nation,[7] the paper's funding was withdrawn and Ádahooníłígíí ceased publication in 1957. Shortly thereafter, the Navajo Times – written in English – began being published, and it remains the Navajo Nation's main print-medium to this day.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ January 1, 1947. (Headlines: "[Sam] Ahkeah wins election, becomes Tribal Chairman" – "Hotel in Georgia burns down" – "Earth captured on photographs from space" – "[Henry] Chee Dodge dies")
  2. ^ Young, Robert W. & William Morgan, Sr. The Navajo Language. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, New Mexico: 1987.
  3. ^ McCarty, T.L. & Fred Bia. A place to be Navajo: Rough Rock and the Struggle for Self-Determination in Indigenous Schooling. Erlbaum Publishers. Mahwah, NJ: 2002. p.51
  4. ^ a b Potowski, Kim. Language Diversity in the USA. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 2010. p.59
  5. ^ a b c Cobarrubias, Juan & Joshua A. Fishman. Progress in language planning: international perspectives. Gruyter & Co. Berlin: 1983. p.238f
  6. ^ Worldcat.org lists only one newspaper with Language:Navajo.
  7. ^ a b Hinton, Leanne & Kenneth Locke Hale, eds. The green book of language revitalization in practice. Academic Press. San Diego, California: 2001. p200.
  8. ^ Lockard, Louise & Jennie De Groat. "He Said It All in Navajo!" in: International Journal of Multicultural Education. 2010. Vol. 12, No. 2