The Four Worlds International Institute

Resume Chief Phil Lane Jr. and the Four Worlds International Institute

Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. is an enrolled member of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations and is an internationally recognized leader in human, community, and economic development. He was born at the Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kansas in 1944, where his mother and father met and attended school.

During the past 48 years, Chief Lane has worked with Indigenous Peoples from North, Central and South America, Micronesia, South East Asia, India, Hawaii, and Africa. He served 16 years as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (1980-1996).

In 1982, with Indigenous elders and spiritual leaders from across North, America,  Chief Lane founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII). FWII became an independent Institute in 1995. As well, Phil is Chairman of  Four Directions International,  First Nations Solar, Compassion Games International and is a Global Trustee of the United Religions Initiative.

With Chief Lanes guidance and applied experience, FWII has become an internationally recognized leader in human, community, and economic development because of the Institute’s unique focus on the importance of culture and spirituality in all elements of development. Both Four Directions International and First Nations Solar serve FWII's economic development arm. Both, dedicated to the development of sustainable commercial enterprises that support holistic, political, social, cultural, environmental, and educational development.

In 1977,  Chief Lane was named a Modern Indian Sports Great by the National Indian Magazine, Wassaja, for his record-breaking accomplishments in Track and Wrestling. He has extensive experience in his cultural traditions, is an award-winning author and film producer and holds Master’s Degrees in Education from National University, Public Administration from the University of Washington and was awarded a global fellowship to attend the Institute of Arts Administration Summer Intensive, Harvard School of Business, Harvard University.


Chief Lane's film credits include the award-winning films, “Images of Indians”, “Walking With Grandfather”, “The Honor of All: The Story of Alkali Lake”,  “Healing the Hurts” and“ Shift of the Ages ” and "Us and Them." A biographical story of Chief Lane's life is currently in development.

In August 1992, Chief Lane was the first Indigenous person to win the prestigious Windstar Award, presented annually by the late John Denver and the Windstar Foundation.  The Windstar Award recognizes a global citizen whose personal and professional life exemplifies a commitment to a global perspective, operates with awareness of the spiritual dimension of human existence and demonstrates concrete actions that benefit humankind and all living systems of the Earth.

At this event, in recognition of his hereditary lineage of leadership and longtime service to Indigenous Peoples and the Human Family, Indigenous Elders from across North America recognized Phil as a Hereditary Chief of the Hinhan Wicasa and Deloria Tiospayes of the Ihanktonwan Dakota, through a Traditional Headdress Ceremony. The Traditional Headdress Ceremony, conducted by the Elders, was attended by more than 1000 people.

In November 2000, Chief Lane received the Year 2000 Award for Freedom and Human Rights in Berne, Switzerland. Chief Lane was the first North or South American person to win this award. The Swiss Foundation gave this Award for Freedom and Human Rights in recognition of  Chief Lane's, "Unique contributions to improving the lives and future hopes of Indigenous populations. In particular, his merits of promoting freedom and justice for Indigenous Peoples by building human and spiritual capacity, rather than opposing oppression directly and his international visionary initiatives with Indigenous populations by healing the root causes of hopelessness and despair."

Other winners of these prestigious awards include Jacques-Yves Cousteau, David Brower, Yevgeni Velikhov, Vice President, Soviet Academy of Sciences, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Lester Brown, President of the  World Watch Institute, the Dalai Lama, Dr. Boutros Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

In June 2008, Chief Lane was awarded the 14th Annual Ally Award by the Center for Healing Racism in Houston, Texas. The Ally Award presented annually by the  Center for the Healing of Racism, Houston, Texas,  honors the achievements of those dedicated to achieving harmony of all ethnic and cultural groups.

Chief Lane received the Ally Award for his national and international work in promoting freedom and justice for Indigenous Peoples by building human and spiritual capacity that focuses on healing the root causes of racism and oppression rather than focusing on conflict. Particular emphasis on this award is for Lane's dedicated work, for more than nineteen years, as one of the key Indigenous leaders in the resolution of Canada's Residential School issue, which involved the sexual, physical, cultural, psychological, and emotional abuse of thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada.

This Healing and Reconciliation process resulted in a $3.5 Billion settlement for Residential School survivors, a full public apology by the Prime Minister of Canada and Leaders of all Political Parties on the floor of the Canadian Parliament and the establishment of a $500 million Aboriginal Healing Foundation.  As well, a formal, five-year, Truth and Reconciliation Commission was mandated. The Commission held public hearings across Canada on the impact of the Residential Schools on the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. The Final Report of the Commission was publicly tabled across Canada in December 2015.

In 2008, Chief Lane completed a three-year tenure as CEO of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation (UIATF) in Seattle, Washington in 2008. He served as Director of Planning and Education and Assistant Executive Director of UIATF from 1973-1980.  The Foundation's achievements during his tenures include the launching of the First Native American Film Festival and the development of a host innovative education programs.  These innovative programs ranged from elementary and high school curriculum design and development, adult education, early childhood education, and the launching of a $3.5 million holistic poverty-alleviation program model for urban Indigenous Peoples.

Since 2008, Chief Lane has stepped into global leadership.  He is Chairman of the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII), Four Directions International, First Nations Solar, the International Compassion Games, a Global Trustee of the United Religions Initiative (URI), a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, (AISES), Council of Elders. He also serves as Faculty Member of the  Shift Network and Host of Shift’s Global Indigenous Wisdom Summits, and Honorary Advisor to the Help Foundation of the Beijing Women's and Children’s Development Foundation.

The FWII's central initiatives include the promotion of Deep Social Networks and The Digital Fourth Way, Environmental Protection and Restoration, the Compassion Games International and Reuniting the Condor, Quetzal, and Eagle via the Fourth Way. The focus of the  Fourth Way is co-creating community-based, culturally-respectful, principle-centered strategies and programming for human, community and economic development that transcend assimilation, resignation, and conflict.

This network building and development process use cutting-edge digital communications technologies for local, regional and global change by collectively addressing the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples Human Family, Mother Earth, particularly the leadership development and participation our younger generations.   

Deep Social Networks (DSN) are principle-centered, collaboratively created and community-based digital networks for uplifting education, sustainable and harmonious development, child protection, social development and actualizing environmental justice.  Chief Lane's work in manifesting the Reunion of the Condor, Quetzal, and Eagle via the Fourth Way, with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, began in Bolivia in 1970-1972 and continued nonstop until today.

In June 2013, the Four Worlds Foundation officially opened at the City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama.  It is the only Indigenous NGO, of the 250 NGOS,  United Nations Agencies, Educational Institutions, and Businesses centered at the City of Knowledge. The Four World Foundation is the International Hub for actualizing the Reunion of the Condor, Quetzal, and Eagle across the Americas and beyond via the Fourth Way.

Four Worlds Foundation work in Panama includes:

1.) Co-Sponsoring, in November 2013, the Festival of Biocultural Leadership with Dr. Jane Goodall, the Indigenous Leaders Summit of Panama and the Spanish Premiere of the Award-Winning Documentary, Shift of the Ages. This multidimensional International Event attracted more than 1200 national and international participants.

2.) Supporting the formulation and signing, of the Compriso Politico, in April 2014. The Compriso Politico is a comprehensive legal agreement between the Leaders of the Seven Indigenous Nations of Panama and Panama's Presidential Candidates and their political parties.  

Chief Lane was honored to be selected to be the International Witness of Honor to this Legal Covenant between the First Nations of Panama and the Republic of Panama. This Covenant is the most advanced Legal Agreement between Indigenous Peoples and the Nation States in the world. When fulfilled by all parties concerned, it will be it will be a global model and guiding light for unifying Indigenous Peoples and Nation States everywhere on Mother Earth.

3) Funding and supporting the Indigenous Summit of the Americas, April 2015, held in Panama City. Panama. Held at the same time as the Summit of the Americas that brings all 36 Nation States of the Americas, the Indigenous Summit brought together more than 300 Indigenous community and organizational leaders and representatives from across the Americas.

4) Funding and supporting the first Intergenerational Indigenous Women's Summit of Panama at the City of Knowledge, November 2015, with the National Coordinating Organization for the Indigenous Women of Panama (COONAMUIP).

5) Supporting numerous workshops with the First Nations of Panama in both rural communities and urban areas, including the events on

6) Supporting the non-political election of Four Worlds Panama  Board of Directors in April 2016. The Board of Directors of Four Worlds Panama is composed of representatives of the Seven First Nations of Panama. Those eligible, by design, are six young women and five young men, 18-35. Elections for the Board are held yearly, on the first day of Spring. Every member of the Founding Board of Directors of Four Worlds Panama speaks their Indigenous language, as well as, Spanish.  The Board selects Advisors, in various areas of needed expertise, over 35.

7) Since June 2013, the Four Worlds Foundation has developed extensive relationships with Indigenous First Nations, NGO's and Allies in Panama, across the Americas and beyond. This relationship-building includes active participation at Rio+20, the Parliament of World Religions, Global Meetings of the URI, the International Indigenous Leadership Gathering, Annual Anniversaries of the Kuna Revolution of 1925,  Annual Meeting and Elections of the Nogle-Bugle Nation and COP21.  

On International Earth Day, April 22, 2016, Four Worlds staff were honored to be invited by the Mesoamerican Alliance to participate with Indigenous Peoples globally, at parallel events surrounding the signing of the Paris Climate Change Agreement at the United Nations, International Earth Day, April 22, 2016. After seven years process of consultation and refinement,  across the Americas, the International Treaty for Protecting and Restoring Mother Earth was signed in New York City, simultaneous to the signing of the Paris Climate Change Accord.

Indigenous representatives from across the Americas, Indonesia and Allies of the Human Family signed this International Treaty. Signing Ceremonies of this International Treaty are now unfolding everywhere on Mother Earth, including Brazil and New Zealand.

During the past four years a primary focus of Four Worlds work in North America with First Nations, Tribes and Allies has been stopping the expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands, related Pipelines, and Tankers.  This work includes supporting direct action,  the development of International Treaties between Indigenous Nations and the research and publication of the Critical State of Mother Earth.

These International Treaties between Indigenous Nations, include the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects (January 2013) and the International Treaty to Protect the Salish Sea (September 2014). These International Treaties are bound together with the Save the Fraser Declaration (December 2010). Together, they unite more than 200 First Nations and Tribes across Canada and the USA.

2016-2020 Goals-Four Worlds International Institute and the Four Worlds Foundation:

1.    To support the emergence of the "Seventh Generation", and the Equally of Women and Men, as long prophesied, by fostering youth and women's participation, leadership, wisdom and contributions in all decision-making processes impacting life on Mother Earth.

2.    To establish an Indigenous Bank of the Americas (IBA), owned, controlled and led by Indigenous Peoples. The IBA will unify the strength of the financial and natural assets of Indigenous Peoples for supporting sustainable and harmonious development. One of the fundamental focuses of the IBA will be the support of poverty alleviation initiatives in Indigenous Communities and beyond for balancing the extremes of wealth and poverty, including the equality of economic and social opportunities for women and men.

3.    To protect and restore Sacred Sites for ceremonial use, including the repatriation of cultural and ceremonial effects to Indigenous Peoples of origin. To support unified actions that educate and ensure that Indigenous arts and cultural expressions of the Sacred are portrayed in the media in a respectful manner.  

4.    To unify networks of Indigenous Peoples and Allies to galvanize solidify and realize the Reunion of the Condor, Quetzal, and the Eagle across the Americas and beyond. This unification includes actualizing further International Indigenous Treaties like the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects,  the International Treaty the Salish Sea and the International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth.

These International Treaties include the implementation and fulfillment of International Trade Agreements between Indigenous Peoples and Nations and direct Trade Agreements with the other Nation States.  This commit includes restoring, promoting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples through National Covenants like the Compromiso Politico in Panama and International Indigenous rights. This commitment includes the full,  legal implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, globally, in consultation with Indigenous Peoples , with particular emphasis on the principle of free, prior and informed consent!

5.    To halt the destruction of the lands, waters, life and cultures of Mother Earth by extraction industries that are destroying the lands, waters and Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth.  To replace them with alternative energies, including solar, the wind, tide, and geothermal, as well as, other green technologies on both the macro and community levels.

6.  To establish and maintain Bioregional Marine Sanctuaries across the Americas, as soon as possible. Bioregional Marine Sanctuaries are named areas of Earth, Water and Air where natural animal populations are protected and restored to more than 50% of historic levels as soon as possible, and water quality and forest biomass levels are preserved and restored to very high concentrations. Bioregional Marine Sanctuary boundaries correspond to natural features such as watershed topography, vegetation types, oceanic continental shelves, and margins, including all rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, estuaries and aquifers.

7.   To protect and restore the use of Indigenous plants, medicines, and sciences, including the further establishment of Indigenous healing and educational centers, along with the integration and promotion of cutting-edge medical research and treatment, like Stem Cells, for holistic healing.

8.     To promote the unprecedented, unified actions of the American Science and Engineering Society, Compassion Games International, the United Religions Initiative, the Shift Network and the Help Foundation of the Women’s and Children’s Foundation of Beijing, in their dedicated efforts toward creating a more compassionate, just, sustainable and harmonious world.


Guiding Principles

Starting From Within, Working in a Circle, in a Sacred Manner, We Heal and Develop Ourselves, Our Relationships, and the World.

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