Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Here are my full thoughts on MITSC
Keep in mind that MITSC is a creature of the Maine State Implementing Act and Not I repeat Not a Tribal Organization.
I have watched MITSC operate and am not imnpressed with its aggressive and overbearing leadership style.


I have read numerous articles touting the Maine Indian Tribal State Commissions (MITSC) view of what took place at the Legislature this past session and the reasons why the Judiciary Committee is to blame for this breakdown in Tribal State Relations. It is time for another perspective. The breakdown has been blamed on the Committees actions on MITSC funding cut and it’s failure to support LD 2221 A Tribal Work Study Group bill. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a member of the Judiciary Committee for almost nine years. It is my feeling that the breakdown has been fueled to a large extent by the aggressive and overbearing manner in which MITC leadership has operated and is not conducive to a cooperative effort. It has served to alienate some members of the Judiciary Committee, Tribal Chiefs, Legislative Leaders and Commissioners. I would like to explain the view from the my perspective as a member of the committee.

MITSC came before the Committee with a request to increase it’s budget when all programs and services were being cut. The most glaring item in their proposed budget would pay the MITSC executive director $91,786 for FY08 plus $2,500 for travel. We could not justify this when every program was being cut. We therefore refused to grant the requested increase.

MITSC justified it’s request by saying they had expanded their duties to include various areas such as education, economic development etc. The Committee felt that this expansion was duplicative as other Indian organizations were doing the same work. (Keep in mind that MITSC is created by the State.) We truly felt that MITSC was taking on duties over and above its mission.

When MITSC did not get its increase it then went to the Governor who granted the increase of $38,000 dollars. This ‘end around’ the Judiciary Committees decision was a breech of Legislative process. That, in and of itself would be reason to kill a bill. The increase of $38,000 showed up in their budget during the second round of cuts when funding was not just being cut, but programs and services were being totally eliminated.

The Judiciary Committee recommended that this increase be taken away as we felt the funding could do some good perhaps in services or programs in dire need. The excessive salary was just too much for us to ignore.

The Appropriations Committee approved the cut. MITSC then went to the media and church groups and through outside pressure got it’s funding restored. It’s present budget for FY08 is now $110,227. That does not count the tribe’s potential contributions of $11,500 each.

The next issue is the failure of the Tribal State Work Group bill.
LD2221 submitted by Representative Deborah Simpson House Co-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and the TSWG. (Staffed by MITSC). I did not participate in the Tribal Sate Work Group for two reasons.
1. I was once told by an assistant attorney general that the State of Maine got such a good deal out of the Act they would never want to change it. I felt this work group was an effort in futility and a waste of tribal resources and time.
2. I felt that even if everyone including the Attorney General’s Office agreed on specific changes the next step was not immediate legislation but a process of educating the remaining legislators in the House and the Senate.

The discussions got very heated, as key members of the Judiciary Committee and Tribal negotiators deemed each requested change to the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act unacceptable for one reason or another. These were complicated legal issues and the majority of the committee had no experience in Indian law. The bottom line is this, changes in the Land Claims Settlement Act will not take place without extensive education on both sides, legal experts who have enough time to hammer these issues out and an Attorney General and Chief Executive who support the changes and will advocate for them.

Finally a bill to add land in Argyle to reservation land was also defeated.
The bill to extend reservation land to Argyle was brought up, it landed in the middle of these heated debates and hard feelings. The Penobscot Nation’s Housing Authority had requested the bill so that it could build fifty much-needed housing units on reservation land.

The tribe had never recognized the Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC) jurisdiction over its trust land and this piece of land was trust land. The Housing director was advised by MITSC leadership to put in a bill to change the status of the land to reservation land. The Governors office agreed to put in a Governor’s bill which would allow the late bill in. This bill came before the committee when tempers were high and distrust was rampant.

I went to the Governor’s office and asked his legal council Michael Mahoney if they were going to actively advocate and support this bill. He said “No” We have allowed you this vehicle and it’s up to you to get it passed. I knew given the failing relations on both sides that this bill had little to no chance of passing. The Committee at first voted to pass this bill but not all members were present for the vote. These members had expressed their desire to vote and to discuss a rumor that had surfaced that the tribe was going to use this land for their slot machines. This was a ridiculous and incredulous rumor but nevertheless key committee members and other legislators believed it.

The Chair called another vote and the committee was set to vote against the bill. I had mentioned to our Housing director that if the bill looked to be in trouble I had a plan to ask the Committee to submit a letter directing The Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC) to work cooperatively with the Tribe with neither the Tribe nor LURC taking jurisdiction.

This way necessary permits could be obtained and the construction could move forward immediately without a court battle over jurisdiction. The Committee thought this was a good compromise. They voted in favor of the letter, which was sent to LURC.

It is true that tribal legislation suffered in this session. It is my belief that if the TSWG process were handled in a slower and wiser manner we would have had a more productive less contentious session.

The premature TSWG bill set the stage for colossal failure ending in disastrous Tribal State relations. MITSC leadership has been involved in all of the above, which has created a hostile legislative atmosphere. The Tribes and the State need to clarify the duties and the mission of MITSC or they need to totally restructure the organization.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Story of Tribal / economics from a Penobscot Perspective Cont (2)

This is continued from the Tribal/State article I wrote earlier.

1821 Maine became a State
The State legislature immediately made laws to take Indian land and resources

What I will call the Land claims Act of 1833 caused a breach in tribal politics resulting in the Old and New Parties.

In 1821 the legislature passed an Act allowing the Governor to appoint 1 to 3 Indian agents for the Penobscot. Their duties were procurement and delivery of treaty goods, approval of contracts and bargains regarding timber and grass growing on Indian lands. The agent was not allowed to grant leases beyond 1 yr or to sell more than $500.00 dollars worth of timber in a single year. In 1826 the legislature broadened the agent’s powers allowing them to lease any of the Islands belonging to said tribe, for any term of years not to exceed 12 and to sell and dispose of brunt and decaying timber on the two Indian Townships on the west branch of the Penobscot river.

Agents were to obtain consent from the tribes but the money was placed in the treasury of the State. The tribes had to petition the agent who then would petition the governor and his council who would then obtain appropriations from the legislature. The Act was conceived as a control measure, further removing the Penobscot from sovereignty over their own property and resources. They were treated and considered as paupers.

In 1808 Penobscot fishermen were forcibly removed from the rocks and small Islands of Old Town falls and their nets destroyed. This event caused tribal members to worry about being forced to leave Indian Island itself. In 1833 The Attean family was forced to move from their home at Mattawamkeg point. These incidences caused so much anxieity that a Penobscot said …If so great and so free a country as this would exterminate us, we have no chance anywhere else; We or our children, must sooner or later be driven into the salt water and perish.”

In 1823 a communication mentions 36 camps on ten Islands within twenty miles of Indian Island and Passadumkeag stream. (newcomers and squatters allowed their cattle to swim to the Islands and graze on the Penobscot crops.) The Islands were used to cultivate crops such as corn, beans, potatoes, melons etc.

Removal by fire: A phrase popularized by Jacksonian rhetoric. In 1825 John Netpune voiced the Penobscot widespread belief that one of the worst fires in Maine History was intentionally set to drive off the Indians. It raged over two weeks in the forest of North Bangor, it burned Penobscot territory on both sides of the river from Passadumkeg to Mattanawcook it was described as a “sea of flames” The Islands were brunt as well. This fire coincided with a National policy of Indian removal. This policy as originally understood involved “all Indians within our organized governments.” Less than two years after that another fire was set in the Penobscot encampment in Brunswick which was brunt to the ground. With this fear as background the State law makers resolved to authorize the State to negotiate with the Penobscot Indians for the transfer of two townships.

In 1831 the same legislators resolved to authorize the Penobscot Indians to sell two townships of land and pine timber as if they had been requested to do so by the tribe.

A communication found in the Indian files in Augusta. From John G. Dean of Ellsworth Indian Agent Jan 20th 1830 set the stage for the implementation of the “coercive” course of action that would result in the Penobscot formal subjugation as “wards” of the State of Maine.

Dean recommended an overhaul in Indian policy and practices he recommended the implementation of a cohersive system.
The State Legislature embarked on a three stage process whereby:
1. The Penobscot would be derprived of any entitlement to their four townships and proceeds put into and Indian Trust Fund.
2. Penobscot heads of household would be deeded in “severalty” small plots of land previously surveyed on all inhabitable Islands form Indian Island to Mattanawcook. Where they would erect fixed dwellings and become productive farmers.
3. The interest yearly accruing form the trust and other tribal funding woud be “appropriated” by State authority and managed by an Indian agent. Along with a Superintendent of farming. Ultimately there would be no townships

Lumber barron Ames D. Roberts and Justice Thomas H. Bartlett were appointed as commissioners to represent the State in a negotiation with the tribe to buy four townships.

Thus the Land Claims of 1833
Penobscots said these townships were obtained fraudulently and a hearing was held in the Senate.

Next the Senate debate over the alleged theft of the four Townships.

Monday, April 21, 2008




APRIL 18,2008


Thank you Mr. Speaker, Men and Women of the House.
I bring before you this resolution to support the rights of indigenous peoples all over the world.

As many of you know the United Nations approved this resolution on September 13, 2007. The vote was 143 in favor and 4 against. The four Countries against were the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, all Countries of Colonization. The white government of Australia issued an apology to the land’s indigenous peoples but did not vote to adopt the declaration yet. The Canadian Parliament voted in favor 148 to 114 on Wednesday April 9 2008, to support the UN Declaration and implement it’s standards.

One wonders what moral authority we have to chastise China on its human rights when we have voted against rights for our own indigenous peoples.

When I was trying to think of what to say I realized that I should have no problem speaking on behalf of indigenous peoples of the world after all, I am one.

I come from a line of Indigenous peoples who have been badly treated by the majority governments both Federal and State. I come from a people who have lost their lands and their rights and their religion to the majority culture.
I come from a people who have fought and died to protect this Country and
I come from a people who are the very essence of this Country.

I have been asked many times if I think Tribal Representatives make a difference here in Maine. I always say emphatically YES! We have played a role in making Indigenous peoples of Maine real and visible and human.
I truly believe the majority of Maine Legislators recognize the value of human rights and the fact that Indigenous peoples all over the world should have them and be treated with civility, equality and respect.

In 2002 I had the opportunity to travel to Chile with other Legislators from all over the United States. We visited the city of Temuco 2 hours south of Santiago by air. We stayed two days in Temuco and visited the city council. They were proud of the social programs the State had made available to the Mapuche. I asked how many Mapuche were on the council or on any committees, they looked at each other with surprise and said to me, none. I had the same experience when we met with the town council in a small town just outside the city.

We then drove into the bush to visit two Mapuche villages. I will never forget that experience.

Because we were VIPs we were welcomed in a joint ceremony by the two villages. Two Machi, medicine women greeted us. They were surrounded by Government officials who were very proud to tell us that government programs were improving the lives of these helpless people and they wanted us to know that these people weren’t lazy and wanted to work. Each Government official spoke very condescendingly about the Mapuchi how he or she provided them with what they needed etc. and this with the Mapuchi standing there listening with their heads down.

I had been asked to speak before arriving at the village but had said no because I was not prepared. After hearing these officials speak I went to our group leader and told her that I now wanted to speak but only as a member of the Penobscot Nation, not as a Legislator. I asked to speak after the head Machi spoke, she was to speak last. She spoke only Mapuchi and her speech was was translated into Spanish then English.

I was not sure what I was about to say would insult her, but I felt I had to say something. As I spoke I watched the expression on her face and still couldn’t tell. I said the following: “I am a Native American, a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation from the State of Maine in the United States. We have clan mothers much like your Machi and they take care of our community. I wish to give you a message from my people.
Never let your spirits be abused, never give up your language, never give up your culture, be proud of who you are. Stay true to your beliefs and you will win.”

You could have heard a pin drop. I did not expect any words from the head Machi, but she turned to me and said “Thank you for coming all this distance and thank you for your words, I hope that in some way you can help us save our culture.”

The translator came to me later and said there is something I did not translate and that is that she sends the spirits to be with you on your journey home. He said the reason he didn’t translate was because the Spanish would have considered that a non- Christian thing to say.

Indigenous peoples all over the world are in need of their freedoms including religious freedom and the right to be treated equally as human beings. The Mapuche are also trying to protect their lands against the corporations that are moving in and taking their lands illegally. On our way to the village we saw a funeral possession. There were many angry people crying and shouting as they carried a wooden coffin down the middle of the street. We found out later that it was the body of a young Mapuchi man just 19 years old who had been shot by the Chilean police as he protested the taking of his peoples land. The Medicine women told our delegation this, the Government officials wouldn’t talk about it.

This was just one incident we happened to find out about, I wonder what else and what other abuses they suffer daily.
I would like in some small way to help the Mapuche and all the Indigenous peoples around the world. Perhaps this vote, which I believe will be the first vote by a U.S State in support of the United Nations Resolution will be a first step in order that all Nations around the world support the rights of Indigenous peoples.

The United States of America has always stood for freedom and democracy. Many of us have fought and died for those rights. It is unconscionable that the United States voted against the rights of Indigenous peoples.

I ask you to support the rights of Indigenous peoples here in Maine and throughout the world.
It would make me very proud indeed to be a Tribal Representative in the State of Maine.

Thank you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Response to Sun Journal Editorial/March 29. 2008

Tribes Are Sovereign and What We Do Not Give Up We Retain.

I am writing in response to your editorial dated March 29, 2008 “Tribes can be sovereign and transparent”.

Tribes are sovereign and what we do not give up we retain.

The tribes came under the Maine freedom of access law because of a Maine Supreme Court ruling. The State Court used the Settlement Act to allow Maine access to our files. The Settlement Act was a three-way agreement between governments; Federal, State and Tribal. The meaning of the Act cannot be changed unless the State and the Tribes agree to it.

In this case the State interpreted the Settlement Act through Court rulings. We do not agree with these rulings. The ruling clearly favored the Paper Companies and the State of Maine. It was an end-around the agreement.

I totally agree that, when State monies or Federal monies are granted to any entity be it State, Tribal or Municipal, there needs to be an accounting for those funds. The Maine Freedom of information Act is not the right instrument in this instance. It would not have mattered one iota if any freedom of information act applied in the case you site.

It took a complete federal investigation in cooperation with other federal agencies to trace how the money was spent and indeed the feds did their homework. Freedom of Information had nothing to do with it.

I would also suggest that if the feds investigated State Government they would find wrongful spending as well. The State has messed up in a number of areas where they have been called to task on and even have had to repay. Look at the millions the State owes the hospitals and doctors for the fiasco in Medicaid alone. That was a boondoggle if I ever saw one.

Maybe if the feds investigated some of those dealings there might be some indictments.

Look at the mess we’re in now with hundreds of millions of dollars in a budget shortfall. Why is that? Where did that money go? Maybe we need to trace that money trail. You want transparency in government? Start with your own and use the same microscope as you always do when it comes to tribal governments.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I thought I would share this speech with you. I will continue the story on Economics a little later.

Slot bill speech for House Debate
April 2008

Thank you Mr. Speaker, Men and Women of the House.
I will have been in this body as the Penobscot Nation Representative for ten years at the end of this session. People ask me lately “How’s it going?” I tell them it’s going the same as ever. I can pull out a speech I used a decade ago and it would be just as on target now as it was then.
Things haven’t changed much for us in ten years.

This year there is something that has changed and changed drastically. It is the state of the economy. The economy is taking a hit on the national level and more to the point right here at home.

This legislature has spent this last week making painful choices about which programs are going to be cut and what programs and services are going to be eliminated. We’re talking about real families and real people. My people are Maine citizens, we have families that are being effected and will be effected by these decisions and this failing economy. We have hopes and dreams just as you and your children do. Whatever happens to the State of Maine happens to us. This is our home.

Today it is more important then ever that we be given the economic tools to not only compete but to survive. The Penobscot Nation has agreed to this amendment to lower the number of slot machines to 100 and to use them only on Bingo weekends allowed by law. We have agreed even though our profits will be a lot less than if we had 400 machines and our payout to other hurting organizations will be a lot less.

Some legislators have said to me the amendment is just enough to keep you at where you were before Hollywood slots entered the picture. With this number of slots you should be able to keep your customers at the Bingo Hall without getting a windfall in profits. (We certainly don’t want a windfall in profits!)

A scenario that comes to mind is that of a sinking ship and everyone is in lifeboats except us Indians, we’re floating around struggling to keep afloat and no one will pull us into the boat. We’re treading water and all we can hope for now is a possible life jacket to keep our heads above water.
We are not asking for a “Windfall”, we’re just asking for a life jacket and then maybe just maybe we can stop treading water and build our own boat!

I can guarantee you one thing and that is if the Indians were in the boat we would pull every single one of you in.
In fact we did! Our ancestors helped your ancestors to survive.

We are not selfish people, never have been. We are totally willing to share. We were willing to share in 2004 and perhaps we wouldn’t be in this predicament if our proposal made in good faith and friendship had been accepted.

That did not happen so here we are now reduced to asking for 100 slot machines.

It’s time to let Indian people have the economic tools to help themselves and in so doing help surrounding communities. The Penobscot Nations High Stakes Bingo contributes approximately a million dollars a year to the surrounding communities of Old Town, Orono and Bangor. These contributions are the accumulation of what players spend on such things as food, lodging and shopping as well as what the Penobscot Nation pays it’s 70 part time employees who live and work and spend their money in the local area. It also pays for printing and advertising. We would like to be able to continue to make this contribution to our surrounding communities. It’s Time to be fair and to work with us for the good of the entire State.
We are willing to share; we have always been willing to share. That’s what neighbors do.

Let’s recognize that these are hard times and these hard times may even get worse. The basic colonial paradigm of keeping total control of the Indians and keeping them poor that set state policy and practices since 1820 must change. Many of you in fact most of you do not reason that way any longer, but those policies and practices still exist today. Those old worldviews will not work any longer in this global economy.

We must change that paradigm and those policies and partner and work together in order to compete in that ever-expanding global market. 100 slot machines is a mustard seed but it’s a beginning.

I ask you to vote for the amendment and start working towards fairness and a change in this State’s paradigm and treatment of Indian people.
Thank you

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Comes from the Greek oikos and nomos, oikos is the word for house
And nomos is the Greek word for custom or law “rules of the household”
…the study of choices as they are affected by incentives and resources.

Prior to Colonization or Two Different Worlds:

There are various estimates of the number of Native peoples living in North America from millions country wide to approximately 32,000 in the area we now call Maine and New Brunswick. Villages were built on coasts, rivers and estuaries. Tribes hunted with the seasons and moved from village to village carrying little and accumulating very little.

The Wabanaki were mostly hunters but they did grow some things like corn, tobacco, potatoes, squash etc. They had a network of friends, family and allies. The larger
their network, the better and the greater the number of people they could count on for assistance in times of need. They traded with one another and with other tribes for all their wants and needs.

Wealth was counted by the number of family and friends.
Pristine lands and environment existed, the Native world was a land of plenty and they wanted for nothing. The economy was sound. There were times of the year however, when hunting was not good and they had to live from food they stored and smoked, but life was good.

Work did not dominate their lives. There was abundance. They protected the environment and did not over hunt or over fish an area. They were careful to preserve the forests and the rivers.

They did not over burden themselves with possessions. Their possessions were limited to what they could carry; the accumulation of things to them was a hindrance. Chiefs were chosen for their strength, their ability to hunt and their oratory ability to persuade. A Chief would speak and lead but tribal members did not have to listen and they did not have to follow. It was a true democracy.

There were no courts, no judges and no military ranking. When major decisions had to be made such as going to war or moving from their territory the whole tribe had a say and this is carried over even to present day. This abundant pristine world of the Wabanaki was to change forever with the arrival of the Europeans on our shores.

On the other side of the world things were very different. A culture of aggression and possession dominated.

Papal bull’s of Jan 8th 1455 by pope Nicholas to King Afonso V of Portugal extended to the Catholic Nations of Europe dominion over discovered lands during the age of Discovery. Along with sanctifying the seizure of non-Christian land it encouraged the enslavement of Native, Non-Christian peoples of Africa and the New World.

Pope Alexander the VI issued inter caetera stating one Christian Nation did not have the right to establish domain over lands previously dominated by other Christian Nations. Thus establishing “The law of Nations.”

The rights bestowed from these papal bulls have never fallen from use, serving as the basis for legal arguments That effect us today.


According to Rebecca Adamson in her essay found in the book “The Color of Wealth The Story of the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide”
There are 562 Federally recognized tribes some with less than 100 acres to 17 million acres on the Navajo reservation. (333 federally recognized tribes in the lower 48, 229 Alaska villages.) The lower 48 reservation lands equal 54 million acres if 42 million acres of Alaska land is added, the aggregate amount would qualify as the 4th largest land base by area in the United States behind Alaska, Texas and California.

There is an abundance of Timber, grazing and crop lands, 4% of U.S oil and gas reserves, 30% of the low-sulfur coal reserves, 40% of the privately held uranium deposits.
For most people anywhere in today’s economy such property holdings would equal wealth and money. According to the 2000 census Native Americans have the highest poverty rate in the Nation. How did this group of people so rich come to be poverty stricken? A long history of Federal policy systematically is stripping them of their assets.

Each tribe has it’s own story related to treaty making, land theft, and control of tribal resources, but federal policies and State policies toward Native Americans on the whole reflect one theme: Control of Native Assets.
Examples: Indian removal act/Andrew Jackson
The relocation of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw from their rich agriculture land in Gerogia and other southern territories.

The sale of land on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma to non-Indians to gain access to oil in the early 1900’s or the “termination” of the Klamuth tribes in Oregon to sell timber rich land to the paper companies. Federal policies toward Indians have methodically removed wealth form Native populations.

In such cases as Johnson V. M’cintosh where the U.S Supreme Court ruled that as a result of European discovery and assumption of ultimate dominion, Native Americans had only a right to occupancy of Native lands, not the right of title. This decision was upheld in 1831 in the Cherokee Nation v Gerogia, giving Georgia authority to extend State laws over Cherokees within the State and describing Native tribes as domestic dependant Nations.” This decision was modified in Worcester v Georgia which stated the U.S Federal Government and not Individual States, had authority in Indian Affairs, but it maintained the loss of right to title upon European discovery.

In the mid 19th century dams were built on streams and rivers to produce waterpower necessary to run sawmills and gristmills. Dams prevented spawning of migrating fish as the use of the coast was increasingly blocked. Wabanaki complained about the dams but to no avail. The industry moved further north and east clear cutting the forest and destroying the land. Along the Penobscot river alone there was some 250 saw mills. Similar patterns appeared all over the east coast. Farmers’ clear-cut huge areas to plant crops and graze cattle.

Wars were fought over this aggression and abuse of the land and Wabanaki resources. The major Wabanaki goal throughout the years of conflict was to retain their land and continue to govern themselves.

Next how this effected Wabanaki People when Maine became a State.

Friday, March 7, 2008


In the shadow of the Eagle is the title of my new book coming out this April. It is about my experiences in the Maine State Legislature. It is the first book ever written by a Maine Indian Representative about this unique legislative experience.

I kept a Journal for four years of my early legislative experience. The book covers my journal during that time but also covers the continuing struggles that Maine Native people face. The book is being published by Tilbury House. Below I have printed the Tilbury catalog information.
You may order a copy or copies by calling 1-800-582-1899

In the Shadow of the Eagle: A Tribal Representative in Maine
Donna M. Loring
Available: April 2008
Paperback, $20
ISBN 978-0-88448-302-1
6 x 9, 224 pages, photographs
Biography / Native American / Maine
Maine is the only state in the nation to have tribal representatives seated in its legislative body, a practice that began in the 1820s. Although the representatives from the Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe don't have voting power on the house floor, they serve on committees and may chair study committees. Donna's first session as representative of the Penobscot Nation was a difficult one—a personal struggle to have a "voice," but also because of the issues: changing offensive names, teaching Native American history in Maine schools, casinos and racinos, and the interpretation of sovereign rights for tribes. Some of the struggles and issues remain as she continues to serve, and the perspective she offers—as a Native American and as a legislator—is both valuable and fascinating.
Donna Loring grew up on Indian Island and graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a BA in Political Science. Donna is also a Vietnam veteran who served in the communications center at Long Binh Army Base located approximately thirty miles northeast of Saigon. It was her job to process all the casualty reports for Southeast Asia. She was stationed in Vietnam from November of 1967 to November of 1968 and served during the TET Offensive. 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 from 1984?90. In 1992 she became the first woman director of security at Bowdoin College, a position she held until March of 1997. Donna was appointed aide de camp to then-governor Angus King on March 17, 1999, and was commissioned with the rank of colonel by the governor. She was advisor to former Governor King on women veterans' affairs. On November 4, 1999, Donna received the Mary Ann Hartman Award from the University of Maine's Women in Curriculum and Women's Studies Program. The award recognizes outstanding Maine women for their accomplishments in the arts, politics, business, education, and community service. She has served in the Maine State Legislature as the tribal representative of the Penobscot Nation from 1998?2004, and 2005 to the present.