UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — The Mohegan Indian Tribe applauds President Joe Biden’s appointment of its longtime chief, Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba as treasurer of the United States.
Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, James Gessner Jr., said the tribe has “benefited tremendously” from Malerba’s leadership, and the appointment is “an honor for her and for our tribe, and it is well-deserved.”
“Her appointment is another positive step by the Biden administration to show inclusiveness with Native Americans and ensure we have a seat at the table of federal government,” Gessner Jr. said in a statement to News 8. “We congratulate Lynn on this incredible appointment. The Nation will be stronger with her serving in the administration.”
Biden appointed Malerba on Tuesday ahead of Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s visit to South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation. Malerba will be the first Native American to serve as the nation’s treasurer. She will also lead the newly-established Office of Tribal and Native Affairs.
“I am honored and humbled by Secretary Yellen and the Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all voices are heard by Treasury as we work together to create an equitable and just society,” Malerba said in a press release. “It is especially important that our Native voices are respected. This appointment underscores this Administration’s commitment to doing just that.”
In 2021, the Treasury created a Tribal team in an effort to develop the department’s growing relationship with Tribal nations. The team will help administer $30 billion in programs through the American Rescue Plan.
Malerba, who became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe in 2010, is the first woman to serve as chief in the Tribe’s modern history. This is a lifetime appointment made by the Tribe’s Council of Elders.
As treasurer, Malerba will write history for having a Native woman’s signature on the nation’s currency for the first time in the U.S.