Standing Rock human trafficking response team working to add resources for tribal members

Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 9:08 PM CST
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Last month, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe established its first immediate protocol and response team to combat human trafficking on the reservation.

Friday, tribal members worked to add the resources they need to complete the program.

The 24-hour response team is aimed at providing resources and services to victims of human trafficking on the reservation.

"They know it’s here, not that they have to drive an hour away to get resources that, they have someone here that has connections and can make immediate referrals and provide those immediate resources," said Pauletta Red Willow, tribal youth navigator.

The program is working with the tribal court system to implement a human trafficking code, that would create consequences.

They presented the Oglala code, with the intention to mirror the laws in Standing Rock.

“We would make it specific to Standing Rock so we would have laws and ordinances that would apply specifically to Standing Rock and Standing Rock members. So that way we have consequences now tribally, not only federally, but tribally for human trafficking and child protection,” said Red Willow.

Other needs include partnerships with tribal, federal and state services.

“We're facilitating these out of Bismarck right now until we can identify local resources and local personal to sit on these crisis response teams, get them developed,” said Red Willow.

A public hearing was also conducted for tribal members to voice their concerns about the current State of Emergency regarding banishment due to issues with drugs and human trafficking.

The tribe is hoping they will have a new version of the State of Emergency declaration by early next week.

They are also working to create a joint meth task force and crisis response with the BIA And Sioux County.