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Riders bring awareness to human trafficking with film to be shown in Lame Deer

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Posted at 9:18 AM, Jul 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-29 11:18:47-04

Shedding light on the MMIW mission on the big screen.

A documentary showing important perspectives of human trafficking will be seen in Lame Deer.

The Medicine Wheel Riders started in Chandler, Arizona on Friday.

"We Ride For Her" shows two women who are concerned about Indigenous women.

But it draws anyone who's concerned about victims of human trafficking.

A five-state tour spanning 1,500 miles all to promote the film and the Murdered & Missing Idigenous People movement.

"It's primary focus is the crisis of murdered and missing indigenous women and people," said Phaisa Sanchez, Women's Resource Center fund development and grant specialist. "And kind of just shining a light on that crisis and bringing awareness to the communities that are involved."

The Women's Resource Center in Dillon will be among the groups collaborating at the stop in Lame Deer.

"Making sure that it's at the forefront of our conversations," Sanchez said. "It is something that nobody wants to talk about, but at the same time, it needs to be talked about."

Producers estimate that nationwide there are currently 5,500 missing or murdered indigenous women, but that number may be higher.

The focus of the film is on Indigenous women but the dangers of human trafficking, in general, are crucial to the message.

"Our jurisdiction in Indian country creates a different type of prosecution for human trafficking," said Charlene Sleeper, MMIP Billings, LLC advocate and founder. "However, the phenomenon is just a human phenomenon that happens in all cultures and all countries."

Sleeper says the tour brings groups together who have the same mission of stopping human trafficking.

"Human traffickers have very specific techniques that they use to lure all women or all people into human trafficking," Sleeper said. "This particular project, hopefully will highlight the areas of vulnerability."

And the idea is to get everyone to stay alert.

"People are going missing and we need to do everything we can to bridge those gaps," said Sanchez.

"The average person, the best thing that they can do is educate themselves and then figure out what their protocols are for their community," said Sleeper.

The riders will stop in Lame Deer on Tuesday for a showing of "We Ride For Her, scheduled from 2-4:30 p.m. at the Little Wolf Capital Building.