Board of Regents Member Biographies
Lorena Cook, an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, was born and raised in Red Lake, MN, and is a graduate of Red Lake High School. After high school, Lorena attended St. Cloud State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. She continued with graduate work at Bemidji State University where she received a Master of Science degree. Lorena is a former administrator of Bemidji State University where she served as an Assistant to the President and Affirmative Action Officer for eighteen years.
Lorena is also a former teacher at Red Lake Vocational High School and Northwest Technical College. Over the course of her career, Lorena has served on several professional organizations in the community, region and at the state level. She is married, the mother of two daughters, and proud grandmother of five.
Charlys May is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and was born on the Red Lake Reservation. She currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the RLNC Board.
Charlys graduated in 2006 from Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College/Red Lake Campus with an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts. During her time there, she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and was recognized for distinguished scholarship on the Dean’s List. She also received the National Career Readiness Certificate, issued in 2013, in recognition of verified skills essential to workplace success and career advancement.
Charlys has experience as a field interviewer through National Opinion Research Center in Chicago, the Minnesota American Indian Adult Tobacco Surveys in Minneapolis, MN, and Take Action Minnesota in Red Lake, MN. She also has experience as an auditor and has spent years volunteering as a tax aide counselor and a parent policy committee member for Red Lake Head Start. Most recently, she has served as member of the Tribal absentee ballot committee. Charlys is the mother of three daughters and four grandchildren. She is the widow of the late Melvin May, Jr.
Rachele Donnell is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and was born and raised on the Red Lake Reservation. She currently serves as Secretary of the RLNC Board of Regents.
She earned her Associate Degree from Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. She is an RN and has served as a Community Health Nurse. Additionally, she is a nationally recognized Emergency Medical Technician. Over the course of her career, Rachele has been employed by the Jourdain/Perpich Nursing Home in Red Lake, Red Lake Ambulance and Transportation, and has served as an EMT at Thief River Falls/Seven Clans Casino. Currently, Rachele is employed by Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services as a Community Health Nurse. Rachele is the mother of three children.
Dell Marie Johnson is an enrolled Red Lake Tribal member, who was born and raised in the Red Lake reservation community. She graduated from Red Lake High School in 1990, and focused on her family and cultural activities for many years. Dell then returned to college and graduated from the Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College/Red Lake Campus in 2007. She has been a RLNC Board Member since 2007. She also served as a volunteer on the local Head Start Parent Council 2008-2009, and continues to volunteer for many school activities and Parent Councils in the local Kelliher School District.
Spiritual and Cultural Advisor
Bill May, an enrolled Red Lake Tribal member, was born and raised in Red Lake, Minnesota. He left the reservation for 3 years to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he studied general education. He returned home and worked for the Red Lake Nation for 25 years in a variety of positions. Bill, who was taught commercial fishing by his father, was president of the Red Lake Fishery Association for 10 years.
He is an Ojibwe language practitioner, was a pow-wow singer for many years, and has been a small business owner. He helps raise funds for Suicide Awareness via organizing for an annual bike rally; he belongs to the Healing Pathways Board, which does wellness research out of the University of Nebraska, and is a member of the Native Nations Motorcycle Club. Bill is also a member of the Red Lake Fisheries Technical Committee. He is married and has five children and 20 grandchildren.
Delwyn Holthusen graduated from Red Lake High in 1999. He is an enrolled Red Lake Tribal member, who was born and raised in the culturally strong Red Lake reservation community of Ponemah. In high school, he was a Student Advisor to the Blandin Foundation. Also in high school, Delwyn was a state- wide basketball star whose successful teams gained national recognition. He continued his education at Bemidji State University and the United Tribes Technical College. He has worked in his community as a Fitness Trainer and since 2008, as a Community Coordinator. In 2012, he was appointed by the Tribal Council to serve on the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors. He currently works for the Red Lake Housing Department. Delwyn has served as a RLNC Board Member since 2007.
Donovan English is a lifelong Red Lake reservation resident. As an enrolled Red Lake Tribal member, he graduated from Red Lake High School in 1976. He then continued his education and graduated in 1978 from Staples Technical School with a Certificate in Diesel Mechanics. Donovan furthered his training at Minnesota Mack Truck School located in Crookston in 1978. He also attended Red Lake Indian Mills School and Bemidji State University from 1979 to 1980. In 1980, he used his training to get a position as a Mechanic at the Red Lake School District in the Transportation Department. Donovan continued to work for the Red Lake School District and was then promoted to Transportation Director in 1994. He has worked for the Red Lake School District for over 33 years. Donovan is married, has three daughters, and is a passionate fisherman and hunter.
Sharon Norris is an enrolled member of the Red Lake Nation. She graduated from South High School in Minneapolis and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Metropolitan University. Sharon is a professional business person with over 20 years of human resource experience in corporate America.
She has worked for American Express and Ameriprise for over twelve years. Sharon was also the Chairperson of the Native American Tribal Indigenous Organizational Network (NATION) for over 10 years. Currently, she is the Human Resources Director for our Red Lake Tribe. In her spare time, Sharon loves to cook southern home style food and is an avid Vikings fan.