U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Sex Trafficking in Indian Country: Community-Based Participatory Needs Assessments with AI/AN Communities

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $275,580)

Statement of the Problem: Despite a growing awareness about sex trafficking in the United States and abroad, very little is known about the sex trafficking of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women and youth on and off tribal lands. While researchers have expressed a strong interest in studying sex trafficking in Indian Country, tribal communities have been vocal about their displeasure with research that fails to address their priorities. AI/AN leaders have specifically requested sex trafficking needs assessments as a way to gather information their communities can use to address sex trafficking with policies and practices that truly respond to tribal priorities and concerns. To date, however, no sex trafficking needs assessments have been conducted with tribal communities. Findings will provide individualized needs assessments to participating tribal communities; disseminate critical knowledge to tribal leaders, policymakers, service providers, and justice stakeholders about the ways in which sex trafficking manifests itself in tribal communities; identify obstacles and barriers that might hinder the justice process; and offer recommendations to enhance service receipt for survivors. Subjects: Tribal agency stakeholders (service providers, justice stakeholders and community members) and tribal coalitions, in addition to local law enforcement and service providers in five sites across the United States. Partnerships: The Urban Institute will collaborate with four consultants: Dr. Alexandra Pierce, Jeri Jimenez, Lisa Brunner, and Gwen Packard. The Urban Institute will also work with the support of tribal communities, tribal coalitions, victim service providers, and law enforcement agencies across the region. Research Design and Methods: We will work with tribal and non-tribal agencies using a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to conduct needs assessments. The research team will interview tribal stakeholders on five reservations (n=66); hold five listening sessions hosted by tribal coalitions (n=100); hold listening sessions with urban-based AI/AN organizations in six cities (n=75); interview non-tribal law enforcement stakeholders in five counties (n=10-15); and interview non-tribal victim service providers in five counties (n=10-15) that are proximal to reservations or within the state of Oklahoma. Needs assessments will be provided to each of the participating tribal agencies. Analysis: All interviews will be transcribed and coded. Analysis will include both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Products, Reports, and Data Archiving: Project deliverables will include two peer reviewed journal articles, a series of research briefs, and webinars and presentations delivered to tribal leaders, policymakers, service providers, and justice stakeholders. All data files will be submitted to NIJ for archiving. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 25, 2016