Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba has broken through many glass ceilings throughout her successful professional career. The first female chief of the Mohegan tribe in modern history will soon be the first Native American to serve as Treasurer of the United States. She will run the United States Mint and every new banknote will bear her signature. She will also hold the keys to Fort Knox, the giant vault where the United States keeps most of its gold reserves.
Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010, elected to office for life by the Tribe’s Council of Elders. Prior to becoming chief, she served as tribal council president and worked in tribal government as a health and social services officer. Prior to her tribal leadership positions, Malerba had a long career as a nurse. She holds a doctorate in applied nursing, a master’s degree in public administration and has received honorary degrees in arts and sciences.
Married with two daughters and grandmother of three, Malerba will also be responsible for creating the new Bureau of Tribal and Native American Affairs within the Treasury Department. His nomination by President Biden was met with resounding praise for his leadership, integrity, skill, tact, respect and professionalism.
The governor of Connecticut, the state where Mohegan’s reservation is located, released a statement touting “her commitment to public service” and praising the way she led her tribe with “dignity and respect.” California Senator Alex Padilla also applauded his “leadership” and contributions to expanding economic opportunity for tribal communities. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that she was “delighted with this historic appointment.”
People who know Malerba speak of his integrity, skill and unique life experience. “He is a caring and empathetic individual who will always be focused on the public good in his new role,” Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney said.
Chief Kirk Francis, President of the United Tribes of the South and East (USET) said on the USET website: “Chief Malerba embodies the highest ideals of leadership. She leads with compassion, tact, love, integrity, professionalism, and respect for all, while advocating fervently for the advancement of tribal sovereignty and the upholding of trust obligations.
A financially prosperous tribe
Malerba belongs to a Native American tribe that populated the area around the River Thames in what is now the state of Connecticut, where the tribe’s reservation is located today. The tribe has its origins in Delaware and New York, but was divided in the 17th century during the long battles with new settlers for land. The tribe split into two – a group that wanted to fight the English and a group that chose to ally with them. Chief Uncas aligned with the British forces and prevailed against the separatist group Pequot. In 1685, his grateful British allies signed the Treaty of Hartford granting independence to the Mohegans. However, local settlers ignored this agreement and seized the land from the Mohegans in the 18th century. The Mohegan tribe have adapted and assimilated, and almost lost their identity over the years.
The tribe reorganized in the late 20th century and filed a federal lawsuit seeking to recover land that the state of Connecticut had illegally sold. As part of the settlement, the Mohegan Nation gained federal recognition from the U.S. government in 1994.
The creation of a self-governing reservation enabled the tribe to open the Mohegan Sun Casino in 1996 and generate income for tribe members from gambling revenue. The financial success of the casino enabled the tribe to d It’s the first tribe to own a casino in Las Vegas, and a tribal corporation owns a hotel-casino in Atlantic City, the gambling capital of the eastern states. -United. In a sign of the times, every Tribal Council member also sits on the board of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.
Malerba was instrumental in the financial success of the Mohegan tribe during his tenure as chief. “The Mohegan Tribe and its members have benefited greatly from Chief Lynn Malerba’s leadership,” notes Tribal Council Chairman James Gessner Jr.
Raul Grijalva, Congressman from Arizona and Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said, “Chief Malerba is no stranger to breaking down barriers and making history, and I’m so proud to see her do it again. For the first time, we will be able to pick up a dollar bill and see the signature of a Native American representing the oldest office of our federal government’s financial institution.
Malerba’s appointment will allow Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to put her signature on new one-dollar bills for the first time. Since U.S. currency is always signed by two people — the U.S. Treasurer and the Treasury Secretary — Yellen had to wait for Biden to appoint the U.S. Treasurer. His signature was actually recorded over a year ago, but no new invoice has yet been issued.
The first bill issued by a new Secretary of the Treasury is usually celebrated with a special ceremony. Critics are always ready to comment on the signing itself and even the outfit worn during the ceremony. Steven Mnuchin, the former treasury secretary, placed a much-derided non-cursive signature on the coinage.