UnNews:Mohegan Tribe names female chief

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4 March 2010

Sacajawea dollar
Gambling tokens featuring Chief Malerba (right) and her child can be used to place dollar bets at the Mohegan Sun casino.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The Mohegan Indian tribe in Connecticut has selected a woman as its chief.

Lynn Malerba, a former critical-care nurse, becomes the first woman to fill that post in more than 300 years. The tribe operates a casino here under a special provision of state law, although other tribal elders look suspiciously like Italians. The previous Chief, Ralph Sturges, died in 2007.

Ms. Malerba said, "Surely, potty parity at the tribe's principal enterprise will be a high priority. Biologically, we need more time in there and need more spaces than our numbers would suggest." A women's basketball team in the WNBA already calls the Mohegan Sun casino its home court, and its players take abnormally long showers after games.

Reaction to the selection was not uniformly positive. Activist Kweisi Mfume said, at a press conference he called, "While this is a proud day for women, we must note that the tribe has still never selected an African American as its chief."

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