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U.S. Treasury releases money with signature of Mohegan tribe's Lynn Malerba

Biden Treasurer
Jessica Hill
Marilynn "Lynn" Malerba stands next to a photograph of late Chief Ralph Sturges at Tribal offices in Uncasville, Connecticut, on March 4, 2010. Malerba, who is Native American, was nominated to be U.S. Treasurer in a historic first.

For the first time in history, a Native American’s signature will appear on U.S. currency. The Bureau of Engraving & Printing has started producing money that features the signature of U.S. Treasurer Lynn Malerba.

Malerba, who is the chief of the Mohegan Indian Tribe, made history in September as the first Native American to serve in the position. She was appointed to the role by President Joe Biden in June.

Malerba's signature on banknotes will join Janet Yellen, who was the first female chair of the Federal Reserve. She spoke about the significance at a Bureau of Engraving & Printing printing facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

“This moment is history. With the currency signed, not only by the first female secretary of treasury but also the first Native treasurer male or female,” Malerba said. “Truly, two women on the currency for the first time is momentous.”

Malerba also oversees the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, which serves as the hub for tribal policy and communication. It’s an office that tribes have advocated for the creation of for years.

The New York Times reports that the first bills with the new signatures will go into circulation next month.

Jeniece Roman is WSHU's Report for America corps member who writes about Indigenous communities in Southern New England and Long Island, New York.