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Red Lake tribal council member found shot, dead

Posted by: Pam Louwagie Updated: March 12, 2014 - 12:53 PM

A Red Lake Tribal Council member was found dead with a gunshot wound on Saturday evening and a woman at the residence where he was found was taken into custody, according to Red Lake police.

The body of Donald J. "Dudie" May, 58, was discovered after tribal police responded to a 911 call at about 7:42 p.m. at a rural Red Lake residence. A 47-year-old woman who was at the residence is facing charges of domestic violence, third degree assault and disorderly conduct in tribal court, according to a news release from William Brunelle, director of the Red Lake Department of Public Safety. The shooting remains under investigation.

The FBI is also investigating. Minneaoplis chief division counsel Kyle Loven declined to release any further information citing an “active investigation.”

An obituary on the Cease Family Funeral Homes website says May was elected to the tribal council in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and had a passion for treaty rights and reclaiming former Red Lake tribal lands. He was scheduled to make a presentation this week on reclaiming Upper Red Lake.

Tribal chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain Jr., said May was a brilliant man and someone he could rely on to represent the tribe in Washington D.C. and St. Paul. Jourdain said he and May got into tribal government the same year and were determined to help turn the reservation around to grow industry and infrastructure and programs. Many of the improvements made in the past 10 years are "a large part attributed to Don's efforts," Jourdain said.

"It's a huge, huge loss for our community," added Jourdain, who will serve as an honorary casket bearer at May's funeral on Friday. "We just have a pit in our stomach and a hole in our hearts."

May grew up in Red Lake and attended school in Utah and St. John's Prep in St. Cloud, according to the obituary.

He is listed as one of eight district representatives on the tribe’s website. The tribe’s enrollment is listed at 11,422.

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