The Pipeline — more than just oil

New dangers are facing Native American women and children.

Human trafficking has become a very real and dangerous issue with the evolution of North Dakota’s oil boom. Traffic crossing the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation to and from the oil fields has increased dramatically, and brought with it increased potential for dangerous activity.

Cheyenne River Indian Outreach (CRIO) recently hosted a workshop to bring awareness to issues of human trafficking across the reservation.

Dr. Kimberly Kaveny-LaPlante, Director of Be Free Ministries, spoke to a crowd of about 30 people in the Eagle Butte community.

“Our goal is to start the process of educating our communities,” said Carmen, Director of the Family Violence Program and Women’s Shelter. “This is going to get worse before it gets better. It’s crucial that people understand the reality of what’s happening.”

Dr. Kaveny LaPlante noted several factors that contribute to the likelihood of an individual falling into a trafficking circle, including poverty, homelessness and domestic violence. Runaways are especially vulnerable.

All these conditions are present on the Cheyenne River Reservation, and Native American women and children are at greater risk than ever before.

Thanks to you, CRIO provides a safe haven for women fleeing violent situations. You are helping struggling teens — who might otherwise be on the street — remain safe and cared for at CRIO’s Child Services Center.

Your support of Cheyenne River Indian Outreach is saving innocent women and youth from a nightmare fate.

“The workshop was a great eye-opener,” said Carmen. “It was a good start to getting people involved — pastors, community members, counselors and staff from Indian Health Service (IHS) were all in attendance. Our next session will focus on law enforcement and first responders. We will fight this as a community.”


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