The article gives this quote from Hillerman: "I want Americans to stop thinking of Navajos as primitive persons, to understand that they are sophisticated and complicated." The Navajo seem to have appreciated his efforts as their Tribal Council awarded him a Special Friend of the Dineh award.
His daughter describes him as a born storyteller. He kept working even as age began to rob him of sight and hearing, and rheumatoid arthritis crippled his hands.
Sadly, if you have read Hillerman's latest book, you have read his last book.