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Edwin Brandt was born August 21, 1921 in Altona, Manitoba to new immigrants from Russia, Johann Brandt (1891-1972) and Anna Thiessen (1897-1992). Edwin spent his growing up years in Saskatchewan and after primary school attended Herbert Bible School in Saskatchewan and then Prairie Bible School in Alberta. During the Second World War Edwin sought conscientious objector status and performed alternative service (Sep. 1943 - Feb.1945) as a teacher in the Day School in Island Lake (now Garden Hill) in Northern Manitoba. After the war he married Margaret Enns (1920-1963) in 1945 and they had five children. Edwin continued his work in Indigenous communities, first with the United Church (two years in Oxford House, MB. Jul. 1945-1947), Northern Canada Evangelical Mission (Oct. 1947-Feb 1948 in Buffalo Narrows, SK and Jul. 1948- Jul. 1957 in Grand Rapids, MB) and Mennonite Pioneer Mission, later Native Ministries of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada (five years in Loon Straits, MB (Aug. 1957- Aug. 1962), and five in Winnipeg, MB May 9163-Jun. 1968). Margret Brandt died in 1963 in Winnipeg. Edwin married Anne Thiessen in ca. 1964 and two more children were born.
After his work in Loon Straits he attended Canadian Mennonite Bible College (Sep. 1962-Apr. 1963) and then began to make connections with Indigenous people moving into Winnipeg from rural areas. Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) was begun in 1965 to provide education and training for Indigenous people in Winnipeg.
Edwin then took a pastorate in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan (Jul. 1968-Jul. 1971), taught Bible school at Swift Current Bible institute, SK ( Aug. 1971-May 1975) and Okanagan Bible Institute, BC (1975-1976). In 1972 he pastored at the Zion Mennonite Church in Swift Current. Edwin returned to mission work with a three-year period of service for the General Conference of Mennonites Commission on Home Missions among the Mennonites in Mexico (1976-1979). Returning to Canada, from 1980-1985 he was the first pastor at the Mennonite Church of Vernon. Edwin died December 15, 2019.