Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Suzanne McMurphy




The purpose of this study is to investigate and summarize existing research and information regarding culturally relevant services for commercially sexually exploited Indigenous women and youth. This study attempts to address the gaps in the literature on culturally relevant services for exiting the sex trade and suggest areas for further investigation. The systematic review sought to understand how existing literature defines culturally appropriate practices for Indigenous cultures, the range of culturally appropriate services that are currently implemented for sexually exploited Indigenous women and youth, and the evaluation and effectiveness of available Indigenous-specific services. This systematic review was composed of two phases. Phase 1 consisted of two scholarly literature searches in Google Scholar and one scholarly search in ProQuest: Social Services Abstracts. Phase 2 consisted of two grey literature searches in Google Search engine. In total, seventeen articles were selected for review based on inclusion criteria. The findings from the seventeen studies were analyzed and synthesized. Core concepts and themes across the findings were extracted to identify five main themes. While all seventeen studies reported findings on culturally appropriate interventions for Indigenous women and youth exiting the sex trade and sexual exploitation, some articles addressed additional services. The additional issues addressed were common among the literature, creating the basis for the themes: Indigenous-led services, drug and alcohol abuse, trauma and mental health issues, education, and transitional housing.