Gord Downie, Nishnawbe Aski Nation offer condolences after mother of Chanie Wenjack dies

The mother of Chanie Wenjack, the 12-year-old boy who died while trying to escape an Ontario residential school in 1966, has died.

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation says Agnes Wenjack, 89, died on Sept. 1 at the Geraldton District Hospital in northern Ontario.

An obituary describes her as the matriarch of the family, someone who loved nature and always helped others.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler expressed condolences to the Wenjack family and the Marten Falls First Nation, as did the family of singer Gord Downie, who told the story of Chanie Wenjack in his multimedia project "Secret Path."

The project won two Juno Awards, for adult alternative album and recording package of the year.

Downie wrote the songs which were released alongside a graphic novel and a CBC-TV special.