A respected spokesman and long-time spiritual leader of the Aboriginal commmunity in Ottawa passed away Wednesday morning.

William Commanda was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008 after participating in several international United Nations peace conferences. He was also a well-known promoter of environmental stewardship and even conducted peace pipe ceremonies for the Rio Earth Summit in 1991.

Commanda died at his home in Kitigan Zibi, Que. early Wednesday morning.

William Commanda died at his home at Kitigan Zibi Quebec. He was 97.