With the annual Sturgis Rally ready to kick off in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Native American advocacy organization Native Hope is raising awareness of human trafficking at the rally, especially among Native American women.

“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," Native Hope said in a press release.

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The Rally officially runs from August 4 to 13, 2023. The group says that while most of the folks that come to Sturgis are motorcyclists who tour the natural beauty of the Black Hills, enjoy outdoor concerts, and spend their tourist dollars at local bars and restaurants; there is also a disturbing reality taking place.

The Sturgis Rally is one of two South Dakota events that drive human trafficking within the state (the other being fall hunting season).


South Dakota is also home to nine Native American reservations and designated tribal land areas, more than any other state. Native women and children are at higher risk for trafficking than any other racial group. 

According to the West River Human Trafficking Task Force, the two major Interstates running through South Dakota, I-90 and I-29, are part of what is called the ‘Midwest Pipeline,’ used to deliver trafficking victims to cities across the country.

What Is Human Trafficking?

"The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where such an act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age, or

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery." Trafficking Victims Protection Act

Flashback: Pics From Sturgis Rally 2003

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