Tribe elects new officers

First Posted: 1/16/2015

PEMBROKE — The Lumbee Tribal Council on Thursday elected officers and committee chairmen for the new year. This was the first meeting of the council since new members elected to the 21-member council in November were sworn in last week.

Officers appointed include: Lesaundri Hunt, speaker for a second one-year term; William Maiden, vice chairman; Janie McFarland, treasurer; Jan Lowery, secretary; and Bill Brewington, parliamentarian.

Committee chairman are: Anita Hammonds Blanks, Constitution and Ordinance; Terry Hunt, Economic Development; Bobby Oxendine, Education, Cultural and Public Relations; Aretha Patterson, Ethics; Jarrod Lowery, Federal Recognition; and Janie McFarland, Finance.

Other committee chairman include: Jan Lowery, Health and Human Services; Terry Collins, Housing; and William Maiden, Lumbee Nation Tribal Programs.

At last week’s a swearing- in ceremony for the seven members who will now begin serving three-year terms, both council members and Paul Brooks, the tribe’s chairman, pledged to work together in 2015 to move the tribe forward. This comes in the wake of a year during which the chairman and council were often at odds, as well as the council itself often split on the best path to follow on issues of importance to the Lumbee people.

While the spirit of harmony appears to exist, some council members have told The Robesonian that they are taking a wait- and-see attitude concerning how well council members will work together and whether the chairman is sincere when he said he wants a good working relationship between the tribe’s administration and council.

Lesaundri Hunt, who was re-elected as the council’s speaker, acknowledged at the swearing-in ceremony that there are often strong differences among the tribe’s leaders on how to move the tribe forward.

“As a Tribal Council member, I can tell you there are a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “There are a lot of things people don’t understand.”