Jul 20, 2023 | Native Hope
The Black Hills of South Dakota offer a stark contrast to the vast plains that surround them. A landscape of natural beauty that boasts serene rolling hills and towering pines, the Black Hills were originally called Paha Sapa by the Lakota Sioux Tribe, meaning "hills that are black.” Today, people travel from around the country to enjoy the majestic views and rich history that the Black Hills offer.
One of the most renowned events that takes place in the Black Hills each summer is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The largest gathering of its kind in the world, it attracts over a half million motorcycle enthusiasts each year. While most visitors are simply excited tourists eager to take in the sights and sounds of this unique festival, there is a dark side behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, the Sturgis Rally draws more than just vacationers looking to enjoy some well-deserved downtime each year. Criminals in the trafficking industry view the event as a prime opportunity for sex trafficking. The grim reality is that Native Americans are at higher risk of being trafficked than any other racial group. In fact, 40% of sex trafficking victims in South Dakota are Native women and girls.
Since 2013, undercover sex trafficking sting operations conducted by authorities during the rally have resulted in 71 arrests. While it’s a start, there is still work to be done in the fight against this awful crime!
We're taking action to end sex trafficking
Our goal is simple: zero trafﬁcking victims during the Sturgis Rally.
This year, Native Hope has rallied together with the West River Human Trafficking Task Force and partnered with The SOAP Project. We will hit the streets to arm thousands of people with the knowledge of how they can take action to stop traffickers and help bring them to justice.
Want to join us? You, too, can get your own Rally Together t-shirt to help spread the word. Styles and colors vary.
Together, we can be a powerful force in raising awareness and ending this dark industry.
Let’s Rally Together to prevent sex trafficking!