1st Native American Treasurer Appointed, Oversees Mint | Your money
WASHINGTON (AP) — A American by birth was named US Treasurer, a historic first.
President Joe Biden’s Tuesday nomination of Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba comes as his administration establishes an Office of Tribal and Indigenous Affairs in the Treasury Departmentwhich will be overseen by the US Treasurer.
The Treasurer’s duties include overseeing the United States Mint, serving as a liaison with the Federal Reserve, and overseeing the Treasury’s Office of Consumer Policy. The Treasurer’s signature appears on the US currency.
Malerba, who is the lifetime chief of the Mohegan Indian Tribe, previously worked as a registered nurse, according to the tribe’s website, and held various positions in tribal government. The tribe’s reservation is located on the River Thames in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“For the first time in history, the name of a tribal chief and an indigenous woman will be the signature on our currency,” the Treasury Secretary said. Janet Yellen said in prepared remarks ahead of the announcement.
“Chief Malerba will expand our unique relationship with tribal nations, continuing our joint efforts to support the development of tribal economies and economic opportunities for tribal citizens,” Yellen said.
Yellen was scheduled to visit the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota on Tuesday, the first time a Treasury Secretary has visited a tribal nation. She is expected to focus on how the american rescue plan affected tribal communities.
The relief program has allocated more than $30 billion to tribal governments, some of which oversee the country’s poorest communities.
For example, 59% of Rosebud Sioux Tribal households live in poverty, according to US government estimates. Indigenous communities have also borne the brunt of the waves of COVID-19 related deaths and drug overdoses.
Biden, a Democrat, has taken several steps to demonstrate his commitment to tribal nations, including appointing Deb Haaland as the first Native American to lead the Department of the Interior.
Haaland reflects on the role of the US government in Native American boarding schools, which stripped children of 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 surveillance of Native American boarding schools.
Biden also issued the first presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Dayin an effort to refocus the federal holiday previously dedicated to explorer Christopher Columbus towards an appreciation of Indigenous peoples.
“It is especially important that our indigenous voices be respected,” Malerba said in a statement. “This appointment underscores this administration’s commitment to doing just that. I am excited to serve our communities as Treasurer and in the work ahead.
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