Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Bringing Awareness to Sex Trafficking through Stage

 

Cast and crew of Facing Traffick: front row (L to R) Nikaiataa Skidders, Chelsie Chamberlain, Jaiden Mitchell, and Shelby Adams. Standing, back row (L to R) Mellissa Conners, Katelyn Delormier, Crystal Adams.

By Mahlon Smoke

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Resort. Sex trafficking is a major problem within Canada and the United States, affecting many Native communities. It's also something that many individuals think will never happen to them or their children. But it has happened to others and continues to happen to many young and vulnerable girls and boys. Dreamcatcher Productions and Akwesasne Family Wellness Program aim to spread awareness through a production written by Crystal Adams and Montana Adams.

The play centers around four women who are forced to deal with sex trafficking, all with different experiences and a degree of tragedy within each story. At 45 minutes, the audience watches as therapist Rose Dawson, played by Nik Skidders, counsels three very different women as they are thrust into difficult situations, all linked to sex trafficking. The main purpose of this play was to bring awareness about this situation by providing different examples of what sex trafficking is.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Resort served a three-course meal and staged the production of Facing Traffick to a large crowd. Over 300 people registered for the meal before the show with a choice of pork dinner or pasta dinner. While the audience enjoyed their meal, they were given a pre-show and post-show evaluation to measure the audience's knowledge of sex trafficking; especially what the play taught them about the issue and what can possibly done to help prevent it, such as watching for signs of a young girl being manipulated and keeping an eye on young teenagers and who they're hanging out with.

The main message being that it can happen to anyone and parents can do something to help their children to prevent this from happening.

Akwesasne Family Wellness Program provided information and important numbers for anyone in crisis such as:

Seven Dancers Coalition (518) 358 2916

Three Sisters (518) 358 2916

Akwesasne Family Wellness Program (613) 937 4322

Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service (613) 575 2000

Saint Regis Mohawk Police (518) 358 9200

Information can be found the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne website and well as the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe website. Information can also be found on each program's Facebook page.

 

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