Philip Mark Edwards, Anishinaabe from Whitesand First Nation, near Armstrong, Northwestern Ontario, returned to the Spirit World, December 2, 2020. He was born on August 15, 1959.True to his Anishinaabe traditions, Philip was a scout, in that he travelled on ahead of the community, checking out the territory in front of them, by working and travelling internationally. His career experience included two years as an Instructor in English as a Second Language in Saudi Arabia; ten years in South Korea; and a year in Ottawa, Canada. Philip also worked in curriculum development in ESL. In Canada, he worked as a researcher and instructor for post-secondary institutions in Thunder Bay. Philip was instrumental in raising the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women through research provided to service organizations and his volunteer work for the Thunder Bay City Police Services Board in the early 1990s. He was an editorial writer for the Chronicle Journal newspaper on Aboriginal issues from 1992 to 1994. Philip also served as a community television host for CKPR TV, Thunder Bay, Ontario, from 1994 to 1995. Philip invented Engeul, a phonetic system using modified Hangeul to assist Korean learners of English. He also developed MaangScript, a 16 character phonetic system for writing Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe). Philip presented MaangScript at an international Anishinaabe language conference in 2019. He exercised his creativity through photography, digital capture, audio, image and video processing, and graphic design. Philip enjoyed languages and became conversant in Korean, German, and French. He worked on expanding his skills in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe). Philip was a self-taught guitarist and recorded his work for the enjoyment of close friends.
He is survived by his son Chris Papah, and granddaughter, of Thunder Bay, Ontario; sister Sharron Edwards, nephews Joel, Jonathan, and Billy of Windsor, Ontario. Philip leaves behind an extended family from the Kwandibens clan, Whitesand First Nation, Northwestern Ontario. He found peace, solace, and tranquility on Manitoulin Island. While here, Philip assisted in starting an Anishinaabemowin study group, provided community service to neighbours by repairing fences, transporting folk to various places, and provided graphic design services for a community-based organization developing a conference on Indigenous land title. He will be missed by friends, neighbours and network allies. Cremation has taken place, with arrangements provided by Simpson’s Funeral Home in Gore Bay, Ontario.
Ka waabmigoo miinwaa, Philip.
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