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MMIW in Maine
~ Debby Ball
Twenty-five years ago, Virginia Pictou Noyes
disappeared from a Bangor, Maine hospital
after being admitted following a severe beating.
Pictou Noyes left the hospital, before her check
up was completed, and reportedly was last
seen near a truck stop in Houlton, Maine,
roughly 100 miles north of Bangor, where she made several calls to try to find a ride to her then current home in Easton. Many, including family, both her own and her husband's family, believe the beatings were inflicted by her husband, Larry Noyes and his brother, Roger Noyes.
They were her last known visitors at the hospital.
Larry Noyes was arrested and charged with domestic assault. An assualt charge was issued as a court summons for Roger Noyes. Sometime after Pictou Noyes attempted to find a ride home, she disappeared, not seen or heard from again for the last 26 years. Charges were dropped against Larry and Roger Noyes, no person to testify, no body as evidence.
Pictou Noyes, a Mi'kmaq woman from the Membertou First Nation of Unama'ki, aka Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, moved to Maine as an adult. Anyone who may have information is urged to contact the Maine State Police 207-532-2261.
Statistics show that, "Murder is the third leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women, according to a recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute."
(1) What is the State of Maine doing to address this? Maine recently passed a resolution to bring "awareness" to the issue by passing HP1203 which will "recognize May 5, 2019 as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls."
(2) This is a beginning. In future issues, I will explore how the State of Maine will continue to address this and how they will work together with the First Nations of the Wabanaki Confederacy. As well, how the impacts of colonialism and genocidal practice disproportionately lead to violence and death of Indigenous women. Yes, it is a beginning, but it is only a beginning.