PEMBROKE — Members of the Lumbee Tribal Council on Thursday again passed a resolution to bring Brian L. Pierson, an attorney from Wisconsin who is an expert on Indian housing issues, to Pembroke to discuss the nuts and bolts of creating a tribally designated entity to administer the tribe’s housing programs.
The resolution approving the action passed 12 to 8, with some council members still expressing uncertainty that establishing an independent entity that would take control away from the tribal administration is the best way to ensure that tribal housing services reach those members of the tribe most in need.
“I want to hear more about this,” Councilman Bobby Oxendine told The Robesonian after Thursday’s meeting. “I have some questions.”
Councilman Terry Collins also said that he has some questions about creating an entity that would allow an independent board — rather than the tribal government — to receive federal housing money and oversee the administration’s housing programs.
“A lot of the council members still don’t understand what a TDHE is,” Collins said.
Councilwoman Louise Mitchell told council members that the resolution passed Thursday is a “followup” to the action they took Jan. 3 at a Housing Committee meeting. At that meeting the council voted in favor of bringing Pierson to Robeson County to explain how the entity should be set up and administered.
The council has not yet taken action to create a tribally designated housing entity. It currently is just seeking information on how such an entity would work.
Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks is opposing the creation of the entity. He has petitioned the tribe’s Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the consultant can be paid for his services with federal housing money. A hearing on the issue will be held before the Supreme Court on Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m.
In other business, council members on Thursday elected officers for the year. These are: Pearlean Revels as speaker; Charles Bullard as vice chairman; Louise Mitchell as secretary; McDuffie Cummings as treasurer; and Terry Hunt as parliamentarian.
“It will be a challenge for all of us to do what is best for the Lumbee government,” Revels said shortly after being elected to her second term as speaker.