Indian Country, the media outlet dedicated to news about American Indian tribes, reports on the recent agreement between the State of Maine and the Maine-based Wabenaki tribes to end abusive foster-home placements for tribal children.
The story features Passamaquoddy tribe member Denise Altvater who as a child was removed from her family’s home at Pleasant Point and, along with her five sisters, was placed with an abusive foster family in Old Town.
“The decades-old memories are blurred around the edges, but Altvater remembers the day they were taken.
‘They showed up with big station wagons and they came in and took all our clothes in big garbage bags and put us in the station wagons and drove away—they were state workers,’ Altvater says, adding that no one had told them they were going to be taken away from their home.
‘I don’t even remember if my mother was there. Nobody said anything the entire ride. Nobody talked to us. When we were little on Pleasant Point we didn’t have any cars. We were surrounded on three sides by water. We didn’t have TV or running water or bathrooms back then. We were very isolated so when they took us it was terrifying. We didn’t even know the road went that far and they just kept driving and driving and driving till they got us to this great big house in Old Town.’”