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UPDATE: Red Lake Tribal Councilman found dead, FBI investigating

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UPDATE: Red Lake Tribal Councilman found dead, FBI investigating
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

RED LAKE -- The FBI is investigating the weekend death of a member of the Red Lake Tribal Council.

“The FBI received reports of a suspicious death on the Red Lake Indian Reservation,” said Kyle Loven, chief division counsel for the FBI in Minneapolis, in a phone interview with the Pioneer. “The individual was later confirmed to be Donald May.”


Donald “Dudie” May, 58, was a Red Lake District Representative for the council.

Loven could not confirm if a suspect has been taken into custody or the manner of death as the case is an active investigation. He could confirm the FBI was contacted Saturday evening.

“We are working this matter with the Red Lake Tribal Police,” Loven said.

According to May’s obituary on the Cease Family Funeral Home website, May was elected as Red Lake Representative for the tribal council in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He grew up in Red Lake, where he worked as a commercial fisherman, in logging, owned an electrical business and most recently was director of Red Lake Sanitation.

As a council member, May’s focus was on treaty rights and Red Lake tribal lands, as well as helping to organize the Red Lake Ride for the Troops event and the Red Lake Suicide Prevention Bike Rally, according to the obituary.

A wake will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Red Lake Humanities Building and will continue until funeral services at 10 a.m. Friday at the same location. Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji is handling the services.

Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd “Buck” Jourdain is listed as one of May’s honorary casket bearers.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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