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FBI investigating 'suspicious' shooting death of Red Lake council member


FBI agents are investigating the weekend shooting death of Red Lake Tribal Council member Donald "Dudie" May.

An FBI spokesman tells the Associated Press May's death is suspicious and the Bureau is working alongside tribal police in trying to determine what happened.

The Star Tribune reports tribal police responding to a 911 call at a rural Red Lake residence Saturday evening arrested a 47-year-old woman, who faces charges of domestic violence, third-degree assault, and disorderly conduct in tribal court.

Many questions remain. Investigators have not specified what evidence led to those specific charges and how those charges may be related to May's death. It was not immediately known if more charges are pending. The nature of the relationship between May and the woman has not been disclosed.

Also unknown: Whether it was the woman who shot May, and whether it was a gunshot that killed him.

"All I can tell you is there are a lot of questions that are unanswered," Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain Jr. told Forum News Service.

Jourdain Jr. tells the Star Tribune May's death is a huge loss for the community and describes May as a brilliant man who represented tribal interests in Washington, D.C., and St. Paul.

Jourdain told the AP there's no indication that the death of the council member was politically motivated. Jourdain says May worked to help families on the reservation after a 2005 school shooting left 10 people dead.

That same year he argued against a proposal for the band to build a casino in the Twin Cities. The Associated Press says May maintained the off-reservation casino could open the tribe to lawsuits and threaten its sovereignty.

According to an obituary of May in Red Lake Nation News, he was an electrician who had started his own business. He was first elected to the Tribal Council in 2004 and served as director of sanitation. May was also said to be passionate about treaty rights and was preparing to give a presentation this week on reclaiming Upper Red Lake.

A page on the Red Lake nation at Minnesota's Indian Affairs Council website says the tribe gave up millions of acres in land agreements between 1863 and 1902. In 1997 the Tribal Council began administering its own programs under an agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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