PEMBROKE — One person filed Thursday to run for a seat on the 21-member Lumbee Tribal Council.
Janie Oxendine McFarland, of Fairmont, is seeking election to the District 2 seat, which encompasses Back Swamp, Fairmont and Smyrna. She is the third candidate to enter the race to replace Councilwoman Louise Mitchell. Mitchell can’t seek re-election because the constitution prohibits a council member from serving more than two consecutive three-year terms.
Other District 2 candidates on the Nov. 12 ballot are Frances Chavis and Barbara Hunt.
McFarland earned a business administration degree from Robeson Community College and served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 10 years. She has worked for state and local government for about 34 years, having held positions with the Robeson County Department of Social Services, N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs, and the N.C. Department of Community Correction.
Currently McFarland serves on the board of the Fairmont Housing Authority. She has served on the Mayor’s Committee for the Disabled, Robeson County Families for Kids committee, Children’s Health Choice Program, N.C. Indian Senior Citizen Coalition, and on the board of the Borderbelt Aids Resource Team. She also has worked with Guardian Ad Litem as a volunteer for abused and neglected children, and is a member of Piney Grove Baptist Church.
“The Lumbee people deserve a voice of reason and understanding,” McFarland said in a statement. “My experience as an advocate for the rights and prosperity of the Lumbee Tribe is evident in my commitment to ensure inclusion, equality and total dedication for the betterment of my people.”
McFarland said she is committed to advocating for federal recognition, promoting self-sufficiency and economic development for Lumbee communities, and keeping tribal members knowledgeable on issues that affect them.
Candidates wishing to file for any of the seven council seats up for election in November can do so until Sept. 13 at the tribe’s elections office on Union Chapel Road. The seven district seats on the ballot include Districts 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 13.