The Donna M. Loring Lecture Series, sponsored by the Maine Women Writers Collection, 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. Learn more.
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.
She was also Penobscot Tribal Representative to the Maine State Legislature. Among her legislative accomplishments, Loring authored and sponsored LD 291 “An Act to Require Teaching Maine Native American History and Culture in Maine’s Schools.” Governor Angus King signed the Act into law on June 14th 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.
The University of New England’s Maine Women Writers Collection in 2009 announced the acquisition of the Loring's personal and literary papers.
This acquisition is the first given by a Native American woman to the University’s collections. It enriches the women’s literary collections preserved in the MWWC facility for research and study, and it signals a new direction in the acquisition of papers of women authors from very significant yet underrepresented groups. These papers shed light on the enormously varied life experiences of Loring.