Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota


The presentation featured Ms. Nicole Matthews, Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition. The invitation to make her presentation In Denver had been extended by the Region 8 Administrator Thomas Sullivan. Ms. Matthews is a co-author of the recently released study which lasted 3 years. The presentation reviewed the  study documenting prostitution and human trafficking based on interviews of 105 Native women in Minnesota. While focusing on Minnesota tribes, the information presented surely follows the pattern of abuse that can be found in other states and tribal communities. The program was made available to and was watched by all 10 ACF Regional Offices and their invited partners. Ms. Matthews also had the opportunity while in Denver to make a second presentation of the report to the staff at the Jefferson County Human Services Office. For those that would like to review the Garden of Truth report, the full document can be located at

The program was well received by the audience and demonstrated yet another social issue which confronts tribes and the vulnerable populations on reservations. Hopefully the new focus on this issue can help prevent and/or rescue those that have fallen victim to human trafficking.