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Winslow Class of ’64 takes on car seat issue

Winslow Class of ’64 takes on car seat issue


Navajo Times | Cindy Yurth
Lori Hardy of Navajo, New Mexico, buckles her daughter, Leah Paul, 17 months, into a car safety seat. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 55 percent of Native American parents living on reservations regularly use safety seats, compared to 82 percent of the general population.

Navajo babies will face many challenges in their lives. The very first may be surviving a car crash.

Recent statistics show that in Arizona, Native American infants are 40 percent more likely to die in an automobile accident than their non-Native peers, mostly because their parents are far less likely to use infant car seats.

Reading that figure in the Navajo Times last December touched Jerry Sanchez’s heart. You may remember Sanchez, the “pleasantly aggressive” (his words) organizer, along with Joe Armijo, of last year’s unofficial 53rd Winslow High School class reunion, which placed a special emphasis on making Native American classmates feel welcome.

Sanchez was so impressed at the level of energy among his septuagenarian peers, many of whom were still working, that he decided the class needed a class project — preferably one that would benefit Navajos.

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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at