RED LAKE, Minn. (AP) — The death of a Red Lake Tribal Council member is considered “suspicious” and FBI agents are working with tribal authorities to investigate, an FBI spokesman said Wednesday.
Donald “Dudie” May, 58, died Saturday in Red Lake. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said the FBI was notified of May’s death that night. Loven would not disclose how May died or where he was found.
“It is suspicious,” he said. “It is an active investigation, so we are trying to determine exactly what happened.”
Loven said bureau agents and tribal authorities are investigating the death.
May was first elected to the Red Lake Tribal Council in 2004 and was passionate about treaty rights and reclaiming formal tribal lands, according to an obituary on the Cease Family Funeral Home’s website.
He was planning to give a presentation this week about reclaiming Upper Red Lake, the obituary said. He also helped organize events for troops and suicide prevention.
In 2005, he was one of two tribal council members who opposed a Twin Cities casino being proposed by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty. May said at the time that he was concerned the proposal would change the tribe’s status as a sovereign nation, and could open it to lawsuits that might jeopardize tribal resources.
“Number one is our sovereignty. We don’t jeopardize the sovereignty of Red Lake,” May said at the time. “The money may look good, but if it jeopardizes our sovereignty, it’s a no-go for me. To me, sovereignty means everything to this reservation.”
According to his obituary, May was the director of Red Lake Sanitation and an electrician who opened his own business, May Electric. He also had worked as a commercial fisherman and in the logging business.
May’s wake was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Red Lake Humanities Building and will continue until Friday, when funeral services are scheduled.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)