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 the majority of visitors are simply excited tourists eager to take in the sights and sounds of this unique festival, there is a dark side happening behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, each year the Sturgis Rally draws more than just vacationers looking to enjoy some well-deserved downtime. 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.
This is unacceptable.
Since 2013, undercover sex stings conducted by authorities during the rally have resulted in a total of 18 arrests, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota. While it’s a start, there is still work to be done in the fight against this awful crime!
We're taking action
Our goal is simple: zero trafﬁcking victims during the Sturgis Rally. So we’re partnering with local businesses, bike clubs, media outlets, and local law enforcement to arm thousands of people with the knowledge of how they can take action to stop traffickers and help bring them to justice.
Here’s our plan:
- Our team of Native Hope staff and volunteers will be distributing flyers to equip visitors and locals with what to look for and what to do.
- We’ll walk the streets raising awareness by providing "Rally Together” temporary tattoos for those who want to show their support and stand with Native Hope to end sex trafficking while at the rally.
Spread the word, volunteer with our team at the rally, or donate to help support our on the ground efforts! When you give toward our Sturgis outreach, you’ll receive an authentic Native Hope 2017 Rally patch. 100% of donations will help provide prevention and protection for victims of sex trafﬁcking.
Together, we can be a powerful force in raising awareness and bringing an end to this dark industry.
Let’s Rally Together to prevent sex trafficking!