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Members of the 25th Navajo Nation Council met with United States Treasurer Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba (Mohegan Tribe) on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Representing the Navajo Nation Council were Delegates Vince James, Germaine Simonson, Eugenia Charles-Newton, and Nathan Notah.

Malerba was appointed in June 2022 by President Joe Biden. She is the first Native American to ever serve as treasurer of the United States.

The meeting with Malerba included representatives from the Coalition of Large Tribes (COLT), who joined the meeting to discuss concerns and offer insights pertaining to various crucial issues impacting Indian Council. These issues included economic development, taxation, and the utilization of funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). COLT comprises individuals from prominent Indian tribes across Indian Country, who form an advocacy group focused on addressing issues encountered by American Indian tribes with land holdings exceeding 100,000 acres.

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Before assuming her role as Treasurer, Ms. Malerba achieved another significant milestone by becoming the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe in 2010. She holds the distinction of being the first female Chief in the tribe's modern history. Her prior roles include serving as Chairwoman of the Tribal Council and holding the position of Executive Director of Health and Human Services for her tribe.

As Treasurer, Ms. Malerba's responsibilities encompass overseeing the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs within the U.S. Treasury. This office is dedicated to fostering communication with tribal nations and serves as the central hub for tribal policy. In addition to her role in the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, Treasurer Malerba has direct oversight of the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Fort Knox, and plays a pivotal role as a key liaison with the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, she serves as a senior advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury in the domains of community development and public engagement.

During the course of their discussions, the Navajo Nation Council Delegates and COLT tribal leaders addressed the progress made in deploying ARPA funds. They also emphasized the urgent need for federal regulatory adjustments to facilitate a more expeditious utilization of federal funds by tribal nations. The current federal regulations and duplicative requirements pose significant obstacles for many tribes across the nation, often imposing more stringent conditions compared to other governmental entities.

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