WINNIPEG -- A residential school survivor and author who was an 'instrumental' name in the reconciliation conversation has died.

Theodore (Ted) Fontaine died at the age of 79-years-old. The former chief of Sagkeeng First Nation was among the authors of a book titled 'Did You See Us' which shed light on the life children faced at an urban residential school in Winnipeg.

Fontaine also authored 'Broken Circle, the Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools'.

In a statement on Facebook, the Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) said Fontaine was a survivor of the Fort Alexander and Assiniboia Indian Residential Schools.

"Ted was a leader who held many senior positions, including being instrumental in negotiating the national employment equity settlement with the Canadian Human Rights Commission," the statement from SCO reads.

The SCO said Fontaine was brave, outspoken and a champion until the end.

"Ted made you feel so loved and valued every time he saw you," NDP MLA Nahannie Fontaine said in a post online Tuesday evening. "He was always so genuinely kind and loving to everyone."

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said Fontaine was the former executive director of the assembly, in addition to serving as the former chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation.