Native American Sex Trafficking 

Women in our society have always played a huge role in Native cultural success. Today is no different, but unfortunately, our women, Native and Non-Native, have been targets of a heinous and violent crime: sex trafficking.

Every year, Native Hope hits the streets in an effort to raise awareness about this important issue and put an end to this crisis.

Two major tourism events in South Dakota create a unique market for sex trafficking and exploitation every year:

"Although most hunters and bikers in the area are well-behaved, there is a dark side to both those activities... Wherever you have a large gathering of men, you have a strong opportunity for prostitution and sex trafficking." - Former U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson

The two major interstates that run through the state, I-90 and I-29, are “part of the ‘Midwest Pipeline,’ the superhighways used to deliver trafficking victims to cities across the country, ” according to this fact sheet.


Our goal is to make everyone in South Dakota, including those visiting, aware, and vigilant.

Young Native American girls are at a higher risk for sex trafficking and domestic abuse than any other racial group in the United States.

The targeted age is 12-14 years old.

Although Native Americans make up only 13% of the state's population, 40% of sex trafficking victims in South Dakota are Native girls and women.

With the influx of hundreds of thousands of men during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and continuing on through the fall hunting season, the “Old West” lure of beautiful South Dakota draws men in huge numbers.

Native Hope is determined to #ENDIT.

End Native Trafficking Toolkit Cover (Final)
red hand less white space

The red hand symbolizes the connection between the physical world and the spiritual world. Native Americans believe that the dead can see red, so by wearing red we invoke the help of our ancestors and spiritual guides.


Native Americans Are Being Targeting for Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is an epidemic that is largely underrepresented, but is severely impacting many populations and devastating communities. Native American women are at particularly high risk for human trafficking.

In South Dakota, sex trafficking skyrockets during two seasons in particular. Annually, during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Pheasant Hunting Season, large crowds of visitors, particularly men, drive up demand for sex trafficking.
We must work to end this injustice — and you can help.

Learn about why this occurs and how it is impacting Native communities, and then take to social media to educate others. Together, we can work to END IT.

Get the Toolkit

Join the Movement

Every October, we partner with The Red Sand Project to fill sidewalk cracks to raise awareness, connect, and take action. Red sand is a tangible and effective way to illustrate the massive sex trafficking problem. The Red Sand Project's goal is to fill sidewalk cracks in cities across the state with bright red sand. This eye catching approach helps spread awareness and shows our commitment to no longer let woman and children fall through the cracks.

Participate TODAY:

  • With your gift of $20 or more, we will send you a Red Sand kit, a Native Hope window decal, and information about Human Trafficking.
  • Use the red sand to fill a sidewalk crack
  • Take a photograph
  • Share on Facebook using #RedSandProject #NativeHope #NeverInSeason

Join the movement

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Learn more

Sex Trafficking Statistics


Montage of a Victim


A Victim Speaks

Signs of Human Trafficking

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common signals to help recognize human trafficking:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

If you or someone you know is being trafficked or assaulted,
CALL 911 so local law enforcement can respond ASAP.


If a person needs to reach out and talk to someone, please call the Sex Trafficking & Sexual Assault Victim Hotline at
1 (888) 352-8511 or 211.

Join the movement