Honoring 7 generations in the past.
Protecting 7 generations in the future.
Oklahoma is currently ranked one of several top locations for sex trafficking in the US – our ease of access and position on route 66 and Interstate 44 makes us an ideal location for traffickers and predators to travel in and out of the region. Our casinos, truck stops, plazas, and other tribal businesses are some of the places we know traffickers are exploiting their victims. In fact, according to the Department of Justice, 84% of Native American women have experienced violence of some sort; 56% have experienced sexual violence. We also know that the average age a teen enters the sex trade is between 12-14 years, many of whom have been in foster care or are runaways who were sexually abused as children. In 2020, over one thousand children went missing from Missouri’s DHS…and they have not been recovered. It is suspected they were trafficked. Imagine how many of our own children have also gone missing. Oklahoma’s disproportionately high rates of female incarceration, our overwhelmed foster care systems, our meth and opioid epidemic, and the more than 100 gangs that reside within our state (with over 10k members) combine to make our communities extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
As tribal members and gatekeepers for our region, we have a responsibility to ensure that our enterprises and the lands upon which they are built remain a safe place for vulnerable women and children to seek refuge. We know trafficking is happening in our communities and we need to start with our own families and tribal businesses if we are going to make any kind of difference.
By creating a central hub for information with ongoing communication, training, as well as practical resources, we can begin to lead the way when it comes to family empowerment, abuse prevention, and protecting our children and grandchildren from trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Connect with us online at www.intertribal.thelantern.net and take our free online training so you too can be a part of the solution!