Column: Lynn Malerba makes history for Mohegans

"When Lynn Malerba was elected the first female chairwoman of the Mohegan Tribe two months ago, her mother Loretta Roberge offered some advice. "All I said is, 'As long as you remain honest, keep your feet on the ground and work for the betterment of the tribe, everything will be fine,’" Roberge recalled saying to her daughter on the historic occasion.

In a long line of notable leaders, dating all the way back to the 1635-83 tenure of the revered sachem Uncas, Malerba is one of only a handful of women to fill a key Mohegan leadership role.

Upon her election in early October, she invoked the memory and contributions of past female tribal leaders like medicine women Gladys Tantaquidgeon and Emma Baker, and others, including her own mother. Roberge served 30 years as a tribal councilor and is a 50-plus-year member of the Mohegan's burial committee.

But while women have made significant contributions to the tribe and filled culturally important positions, Malerba is the Mohegan's first elected female leader in modern history, and perhaps ever."

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