“Human trafficking is economically driven; it is about power, control, and privilege.”

- Dolores Subia BigFoot, Ph.D., Caddo Nation

Native Youth and Human Trafficking

Human trafficking can occur to anyone at any age; Native children and youth can be vulnerable to experiencing human trafficking. Traffickers often fulfill needs in a victim’s life: buying gifts, being a friend, beginning a romantic relationship, or supplying alcohol or drugs. Anyone under the age of 18 exchanging any item of value for a sex act is protected by the law as a victim of human trafficking.

Indigenous children, as all children, are vulnerable to being victimized and often by people they love and trust…Teaching children that people they trust could also be people that could hurt them is part of human trafficking education.”

- Tafilisaunoa Toleafoa, Samoa

Questions & Answers

These questions and answers come from Talking Circle conversations where American Indian and Alaska Native practitioners share their experiences supporting survivors of human trafficking. There is also content from reports on working with Native Youth. 


If you or a loved one are experiencing human trafficking, you are not alone.

Strong Hearts Native Helpline and the National Human Trafficking hotline are available 24/7 to listen. All conversations over phone, text, and online chat are confidential and anonymous.  

During your conversations, if you desire, you may receive referrals to state or local resources.