1st Native American US treasurer nominated, oversees Mint
WASHINGTON A Native American has been nominated as U.S. treasurer. This is a historic first.
President Joe Biden nominated Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba Tuesday as his administration creates an Office of Tribal and Native Affairs in the Treasury Department. This Office will be overseen and managed by the U.S. treasurer.
The duties of the treasurer include overseeing the U.S. Mint and serving as a liaison to the Federal Reserve. They also oversee Treasury’s Office of Consumer Policy. U.S. currency bears the signature of the treasurer.
Malerba is the lifetime chief for the Mohegan Indian Tribe. According to the tribe’s website he was previously a registered nurse and has served in various roles in tribal government. The reservation of the tribe is located on the Thames River, Uncasville, Connecticut.
” For the first time in history, a Tribal leader or Native woman’s name would be the signature of our currency,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated in remarks prepared prior to the announcement.
“Chief Malerba “will expand our unique relationship to Tribal nations, continuing and expanding our joint efforts for the development of Tribal economies. Economic opportunities for Tribal citizens will be further enhanced,” Yellen stated.
Yellen will visit the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Tuesday. This is the first time a Treasury Secretary has visited a tribe nation. She will focus on the impact of the American Rescue Plan on tribal communities.
The relief package provided more than $30 million to Tribal governments. Some of these governments oversee the poorest parts of the country.
According to U.S. government figures, 59% households of Rosebud Sioux Tribal live in poverty. Native communities have also suffered the brunt of waves of COVID-19-related deaths and drug overdoses.
Biden is a Democrat. He has taken many steps to show his support for tribal nations, including naming Deb Haland the first Native American to head the Interior Department.
Haaland will be leading a reckoning about the U.S. government’s role in Native American Boarding Schools, which stripped children from their cultures and identities.
On Wednesday, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the Interior Department’s report on its investigation into the federal government’s past oversight of Native American boarding schools.
Biden also made the first presidential proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ day. This was to help refocus the federal holiday that was previously dedicated to Christopher Columbus towards Native people.
” “It is particularly important that our Native voices be respected,” Malerba stated in a statement. “This appointment demonstrates the Administration’s commitment towards doing just that. I am excited to serve our communities as Treasurer and for the work ahead.”
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