Welcome to Sarah Deer’s Website

As a law professor at William Mitchell, my specialty is tribal law and gender violence. I formerly worked for the Office on Violence Against Women and I have consulted with many organizations who work to improve society.

I began advocating for women in 1993 as a rape victim’s advocate in Lawrence, Kansas. This work exposed me to the brutal realities of gender violence, especially on college campuses.

In my writings, I have attempted to document the scope of sexual violence and how our many of our society’s problems are connected to our history of colonialism. My 2004 article, Towards an Indigenous Jurisprudence of Rape, was my first article of this topic.

In my 2010 article, Relocation Revisited: Sex Trafficking of Native Women in the United States, I sought to document the five hundred year history of  rape, genocide, and kidnapping that Indian women have suffered from European and American invaders, settlers and governments.

Later I worked with a team of dedicated women to document human trafficking of Indian women within the borders of the state of Minnesota.  The individual stories in Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota are heart-breaking, but by documenting the suffering of these women, we hope to galvanize action to protect Indian women from sexual exploitation and violence.

In my work, I seek to unite people of good conscience to understand the historical development of oppression and through this understanding, to end it.