Gakin Yashi is a Navajo girl forced to leave her father's hogan and attend the Navajo boarding school in Tuba City. Her tale and that of her father, Do etin, frame one of the central storylines in The Vanishing American. Here's is how she is portrayed in the novel:
The Vanishing American:
Do etin believed the white man's education good for the Indian boys and girls. It taught them to help their parents in new and better ways of living. But the religion forced upon them was not acceptable, and the ruin of Indian girls by white men employed on the reservation was the basest and blackest crime of the many crimes the white race had perpetrated upon the red.
Do etin went on to tell of the confessions made to him by Gekin Yashi—of Blucher's enmity toward her father—of Morgan's haranguing at her—of the matron's forcing upon her menial labors when she should have been in school—of brutality to the Indian children—
Nophaie brought the information of Blucher's new ruling, enforcement of which, soon to go into effect, meant that the Indian girls must go to Morgan's chapel to hear him preach.
Do etin showed intense passion and vehemence. "Never shall Gekin Yashi go to Morgan!"
The inspiration for Gekin Yashi seems clear in the following newspaper article in The Coconino Sun on March 6, 1922:
The Coconino Sun:
"Jennett Taditina [Taddykin]...is the daughter of the Navajo [Do-Etin] who was killed by agency officials some years ago, which caused such a stir and considerable litigation in court. The trouble arose over Jennett's not attending school at Tuba, it is alleged.”