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Mashantucket Pequot chairman appointed to U.S. Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee

Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, speaks at at the State Republican Convention, Friday, May 6, 2022, in Mashantucket, Conn.
Jessica Hill
/
AP
Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, speaks at at the State Republican Convention, Friday, May 6, 2022, in Mashantucket, Conn.

The chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe has been appointed to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Tribal Advisory Committee.

Rodney Butler, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe chairman, will join the seven committee members to advise Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen and the department on matters impacting Native American communities.

The committee also discusses matters related to the taxation of Indigenous people, the training of IRS field agents and training assistance to Native American financial officers. The committee has in recent years examined tribal concerns under the General Welfare Exclusion Act and addressed the harms of dual taxation in Indian country.

Butler has advocated for eliminating dual taxation and supported community development initiatives on tribal territory. He testified before the House Committee on Ways and Means on the importance of tribal self-governance, self-determination and how the federal tax code fails to support tribal equality.

Mohegan Tribal Nation Chief Lynn Malerba was appointed to serve as U.S. Treasurer last year. Malerba served on the committee prior to being appointed treasurer. In a statement released, she said the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee is a valued partner within the Treasury.

“The committee advises the Secretary of the Treasury on matters essential to the economic development on Indian lands for the public good of tribal citizens and provides detailed analysis and recommendations to the department on relevant guidance and policy,” Malerba said.

Butler earned his Bachelor's Degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut. He was named "Tribal Leader of the Year" by the Native American Finance Officers Association. Butler worked on expansion at Foxwoods Resort Casino and worked to legalize sports betting in Connecticut. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council expressed support for Butler in a released statement.

“Chairman Butler is a leading voice on tribal parity issues such as taxation and debt restructuring, and understands the nuances of tribal economies, governance, and finances,” they said. “His credentials and experience make him a tremendous advocate for Indian country, and we are thrilled that he has been appointed to this vitally important advisory committee.”

Jeniece Roman is a reporter with WSHU, who is interested in writing about Indigenous communities in southern New England and Long Island, New York.