Indigenous Communities Fellowship

Anti-Human Trafficking Alliance

Creating human trafficking awareness through technology education

Team Lead

Fiona Teller

The Problem

Trafficking in native communities, especially the disappearance of native girls and women, is a clear and present danger—and one that is difficult to identify and quantify with hard data. Native women and girls are disproportionately likely to become victims of sex trafficking, contributing to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

The US Department of State’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report recognizes that American Indians and Alaska Natives are among the most vulnerable populations of trafficking in the United States.

In the US and Canada, there is no current data collection method that provides a complete picture of human trafficking in regards to Indigenous peoples. Additionally, many people are unaware of the online vulnerabilities that can increase the risk of becoming a trafficking victim.

Solution Summary

There is much opportunity to be gained from being able to safely use computers and internet in Indigenous communities.

Our computer literacy trainings will equip attendees with the skills necessary to utilize technology to their advantage, particularly towards developing business models such as an online business platform where they can market their arts and crafts, livestock, and services which are traditional methods of commerce within tribal lands. Additionally, another major component will create awareness about the dangers of the use of technology, including the growing problem of online traffickers targeting tribal communities. This project intends to help people within the Navajo Nation and Hopi communities learn how to better use current technology and to gain further awareness of and techniques to prevent human trafficking. These trainings will be conducted throughout highly populated areas of the Navajo Nation and Hopi lands such as Shiprock, NM; Tuba City, AZ; Window Rock, AZ; and Sells, AZ. 

Market Opportunity

  • According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), human trafficking is the most lucrative crime after drug trafficking.
  • Savannah's Act and the Not Invisible Act of 2019 are recently introduced pieces of legislation aimed at addressing the crisis of missing, murdered, and trafficked Native people by engaging law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, and service providers and improving coordination across federal agencies. These bills would establish an advisory committee of local, tribal, and federal stakeholders to make recommendations to the Department of Interior and Department of Justice on best practices to combat the epidemic of disappearances, homicide, violent crime, and trafficking of Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

Statistic

  • In a four-site 2015 study, an average of 40 percent of women involved in sex trafficking in the US and Canada identified as American Indian/Alaska Native or First Nations.

Highlights

  • Providing awareness on this issue in DC for three years
  • Initial research into a comprehensive data system

Organization Goals

  • Use technology and education to help prevent the trafficking of American Indian peoples
  • Help youth and elders learn how to participate in social media and online activities safely
  • Bridge connections for American Indian peoples across digital divides
  • Continue awareness of the trafficking of peoples through schools and tribal administrations
  • Work with other tribes across the United States

Existing Partnerships

  • Tribal colleges and governments
  • Collective Liberty (anti-human trafficking organization)

Partnership Goals

  • Financing
  • Data strategy
  • Marketing
  • Anti-trafficking organizations

Fellow Team

Headquarters: 

Window Rock, AZ, USA
Washington, DC, USA

Project Stage: 

Prototype

Working in: 

Navajo Nation + Hopi Tribe, AZ/NM, USA

Team Members: 

5

Solution Team:

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