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Donna M. Loring Lecture Series

The Maine Women Writers Collection sponsors the Donna M. Loring Lecture Series, which addresses current or historic Native American or aboriginal issues, indigenous rights, as well as women’s issues, civil rights, and issues of fairness and equality as they overlap with the concerns of tribal peoples.

Upcoming Lectures

One Nation, Under Fraud: A Remonstrance

October 12, 2022 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Online on Zoom:

In April of 2022, Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations issued a report, One Nation, Under Fraud: A Remonstrance, outlining the history of tribal relations with the State of Maine and suggesting a framework for remedying those relations—for redressing the centuries of fraud and cultural genocide perpetrated by the state. This event will feature the report’s three co-authors, each of whom will share their unique perspective on the project and what it means for our community and the work before us today. The report is available here.


  • Hon. Donna M. Loring, Penobscot Nation Elder and former Representative, Maine State Legislature
  • Hon. Eric M. Mehnert, Chief Judge, Penobscot Nation Tribal Court
  • Joseph G.E. Gousse, Esq., Berman & Simmons Trial Attorneys, UNE Political Science ’12

About Donna Loring

close-up black and white headshot of Donna Loring.
Donna Loring

Author and legislator Donna Loring grew up on Indian Island and graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a B.A. in political science. Loring is a Vietnam veteran, her professional background is in law enforcement, and she is a graduate of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. She was the first woman police academy graduate to become police chief in the state of Maine and served as the police chief for the Penobscot Nation during the 1980s. Loring was appointed aide de camp to then-governor Angus King and was advisor to the governor on women veterans’ affairs.

Donna Loring served as the Penobscot Nations Representative to the Maine State Legislature from 1998-2003, and again from 2007-2008. During her legislative career, Loring authored and sponsored LD 291 An Act to Require Teaching Maine Native American History and Culture in Maines Schools, which was signed into law in 2001.The law is changing the way Maine views its history.

Loring’s book, In the Shadow of the Eagle (Tilbury House, 2008) chronicles her experiences as the tribal representative to the State Legislature. In 2011, Donna M. Loring received the Deborah Morton Award from the University of New England, which is awarded to women whose leadership in civic, cultural or social causes has been exceptional. Loring received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maine in 2017. In 2019, Governor Janet Mills appointed Loring as Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs to the Governor. In addition to her work in law enforcement and public service, Donna M. Loring is a widely published author who continues to explore new ways to share Wabanaki culture and history with diverse audiences.

The Maine Women Writers Collection acquired Loring’s personal and literary papers in 2009. This acquisition is the first given by a Native American woman to the University’s collections. Loring’s papers enrich the research potential of the MWWC and broaden our collections to represent the varied life experiences of women authors from significant yet traditionally underrepresented groups.

The Donna M. Loring Lecture will be endowed by a generous planned gift by Joanne Murphy, who was Donna Loring’s Commanding Officer during her service in the Vietnam War. If you are interested in making a gift to fund the Donna M. Loring Lecture, please contact Michael Manning in Institutional Advancement.