Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Gayle Elizabeth (Wilson) Downwind

Gayle Elizabeth (Wilson) Downwind

December 12, 1951 ~ March 20, 2024 (age 72)

Gayle Elizabeth Downwind, "Mikkinok Ikwe" meaning "Turtle Woman", age 72, journeyed to the spirit world on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, surrounded by family in Minneapolis, MN. She was born on December 12th, 1951, in Cass Lake, MN, the daughter of Barbara Wilson.

Gayle was a loving and caring mother, who opened her loving heart to many. She loved animals and was also opening her home to rescues. Gayle sang and danced at pow wows, she traveled the pow wow trail all over the United States for many years and enjoyed every part of it. She made regalia for her grandkids, who she was very proud of. Gayle had a true passion for teaching and sharing cultural and traditional native ways. She retired from Red Lake School District where she taught many students and loved her job. Above all else she loved spending time with her family! She liked beading and sewing, cooking and baking and made the best frybread. She enjoyed gardening, both vegetable and flowers, canning, freezing, and making jerky were some of her many skills.

Those greeting Gayle in the spirit world are her husband, Leo Downwind; mom, Barbara Wilson; grandparents, Elizabeth and John Wilson; and loving pug, Bella.

Those Gayle leaves behind to forever cherish her memory are her sons, Larry Briggs and Sky Grant; daughters, Shawn Brunelle, Julie Mandler, Lee Ann Grant; brother, Rory Snetsinger; sister, Valerie Larsen; special daughters, Erika Falcon and Danielle Finley; 16 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; multiple cousins; and loving cat, Kitty.

A two-night wake for Gayle will begin at 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, March 24th, 2024, and continue until her traditional service at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 26th, 2024, all to be held at the Old Red Lake Community Center in Red Lake, MN. Gayle's Spiritual Advisor is Allen Hardy. Those helping to lay Gayle to rest are Rory Snetsinger, Chris Snetsinger, Kalvin Stately, Isaac Treuer, Alvie Downwind, Gordon Sayers, Dimitrius Harris, and Leo Cook. Honorary pallbearers are Sheldon Cook, Marissa Graves, Shelly Barton, George "Donny" Spears, Alex Snetsinger, Charlene New, Brianna Sumner, Phylicia Sumner, and all of Gayle's Grandchildren. Interment will be in the Family Burial Grounds in Redby, MN.

Gayle's care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at




March 24, 2024

1:00 PM

Red Lake Center

Traditional American Indian Service


March 26, 2024

10:00 AM

Red Lake Center


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