Pinette to deliver 14th Maine Heritage Lecture on Oct. 12

The University of Maine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will present the 2023 Maine Heritage Lecture at 3 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Bodwell Area at the Collins Center for the Arts, with a reception to follow at the Hudson Museum.

This year’s lecture, titled “50 Years of Advocacy in Maine: Exploring the History of Franco American Activism,” will be delivered by Susan Pinette, professor of modern languages and director of the Franco American Programs at UMaine.

Franco American Programs first began as a group of engaged students in the early 1970s who advocated around the lack of knowledge about the “French Fact” of Maine on campus. These students began consciousness-raising sessions — meeting weekly, at first with themselves and then with other students, faculty and other Franco Americans — to explore and discuss what it meant to be “French.” The students called themselves F.A.R.O.G, the “Franco American Resource Opportunity Group,” aiming to recode the slur so often used against Franco Americans.

In the course of her talk, Pinette will discuss three contexts: that were crucial to the emergence of the Franco-American student advocacy movement at UMaine: U.S. social justice movements, Quebec politics and the Franco communities themselves.

The talk will be followed by a roundtable discussion with longtime advocate Sévérin Beliveau, Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and the former director of the Franco American Center, Yvon Labbé.

The Maine Heritage Lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Kelly Gilks at or 207.581.1954.