Back Home


Four Worlds Consulting
347 Fairmont Boulevard
Lethbridge Alberta T1K 7J8 Canada
Tele: 4O3-320-7144 Fax: 403-329-4383

Four Directions International is a Canadian owned and operated Aboriginal company with more than thirty years of experience in people - centered development work in North and South America, Central and West Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the former Soviet Union. Four Directions International is the economic arm of the Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development. The primary focus of Four Worlds1 and Four Directions' work is capacity building of people and organizations for social and economic development at the community level.

  This work takes a variety of different forms depending on the development sector and activities underway and the on-the-ground realities that comprise the cultural focus as well as the economic and political context of the work to be done.   Four Worlds is best known for its culturally based, participatory approach to development and for its articulation of principles and processes guiding sustainable development activities.   The following is an outline of Four Worlds' capacity and experiences.   1. Health
2. Education and Training
3. Community Development
4. Research, Assessment and Evaluation
5. Human Relations and Conflict Resolution
6. Organizational Development
7. Governance, Democratization and Civil Society
8. Economic Development
9. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)



            Focus on Community Health Development addressing the determinants of health.



Both rural and urban projects completed or still underway in all areas listed in many indigenous communities across North America, with provincial public health authorities in Canada, Africa, the Asian Pacific region and the former Soviet Union. We are well known for our models and principles and for the excellence of our research, writing and hands-on community work.


Focus on the design and delivery of learning programs for human and community development, and development-related capacity building.


  • Distance and community based learning
  • Formal and non-formal programs
  • On-site, non-formal training
  • Design and delivery of capacity building programs related to social and economic development
  • Accredited higher education programs
  • Curriculum research and development
  • Learning materials production
  • Indigenous and culturally-based programs
  • Teacher training and in-service
  • Community involvement in education
  • Adult training design
  • Monitoring and evaluation of education and training programs.
  • Experience

    Extensive experience for more than thirty (30) years in all areas listed. We are well known for our prototype curriculum materials, our training and capacity building work, our accredited college and university level programs, and for excellence in culturally-based approaches to education and training.




                                        (a) Community economic development
                                        (b) Primary health care and health promotion
                                        (c) Civil society democratization and governance
                                        (d) Environment and development
                                        (e) Gender and development

    Extensive hands~on experience for more than thrity (30) years in many projects, in many cultures and countries, both in facilitating on-th~ground processes, and in building capacity. Extensive research and publication record related to this sector.


    Focus on participatory community-based and culturally-appropriate development assessment, evaluation and research as well as policy and strategic research in support of people-centered development.



    Four Worlds/Four Directions International has some thirty (30) years of research related experience related to education reform, community health, social policy reform, community development, cultural foundations of development, civil society development, and a host of practically oriented participatory action research initiatives. Our experience in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, Latin America and indigenous North America related to this sector has enabled us to develop our own capacity to indigenize sound development work anywhere in the world.



    The gradual emergence of mediation and conflict resolution as a separate field of work abstracted from wholistic, people-centered development processes made us realize that Four Worlds/Four Directions International has been systematically working in that field for more than thirty(30) years, particularly within indigenous communities and with professional development agencies. Much of this work has been a line of action within a larger, organizational or community healing and development process. We have done this work in Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Ukraine, indigenous North America, (including Nunavut) and urban inner city North America.


    Focus on capacity building of development promoting organizations across all sectors engaged in people centered work, as well as in assisting public and voluntary sector organizations to make critical cultural shifts and to learn new ways of working for the benefit of the public good.



    Some thirty (30) years of extensive experience working with national government ministries and departments. Large and small departments, local, national and international NGOs in Canada, the United States, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Mexico, Rwanda, Benin, Zambia and within indigenous community systems the world over.


    Focus on developing social capital (trust, common values, healthy social relations, collective identity and will, civic values, etc.) as the "software' of civil society, and on tailoring democratic structures, governance mechanisms and organizational life so that the primary purposes of promoting human well-being and prosperity are not compromized, and are in fact enhanced.


    (a) developing democratic systems and structures that facilitate people and public participation in policy and decision-making,
    (b) strengthening the effectiveness of projects aimed at the development of "civil society" and the voluntary sector.

    Four Worlds/Four Directions International has many years of experience in this sector through its community development work, but has demonstrated a remarkable strength on working directly with people at the grassroots community level, and connecting that work to existing civil and governance structures. The range of cultural settings in which we have worked is broad and spans the globe, including work in Africa, Latin America, the Asian Pacific region, the former Soviet Union and both indigenous and mainstream North America. We are currently partners in a CIDA funded, four-year civil society program in Ukraine, and are also currently involved in ground floor work in Canada's newest territory~ Nunavut.


    A twin focus on macro enterprise development and the fostering of community level micro-economic systems in partnership with indigenous and other developing communities and groups, as well as linking indigenous peoples in mutually beneficial trade and development partnerships.




    In the past two years alone, four Directions has launched a sucessful computer assembly operation (which earned 3.4 million dollars in 1998/99), and herbal shampoo and conditioner initiative and facilitated the creation of trade and development agreements between Canadian Aboriginal people and indigenous peoples in Mexico and Dominica.  Almost thirty (30) years of development experience at the grassroots level around the world has now been consolidated and channelled into business related intiatives.


    Focus on bringing appropriate  information and communication technology to people, and bringing people to the technology, particularly within indigenous and developing regions of the world.



    Focus on bringing environmentally friendly technology to people, and bringing people to the technology, particularly within indigenous and developing regions of the world.


  • Increasing plant and crop productivity using little or no fertilizer, pesticide or fungicide.
  • Introducing a fast growing hardwood tree
  • Revitalizing water and waste systems
  • Environmentally safe alternative to asphalt for road construction
  • Decreasing odour ommissions from animal waste
  • Increasing productivity in cattle, hog and poultry operations




      The relatively recent explosion of information and communication technology, accompanied by a gradual deregulation of the sector in many countries has opened the door for the marrying of Four Worlds' development experience with Four Directions International's recent success in ICT manufacturing (1998/99 sales were 3.4 million dollars). Current projects are underway or are in the planning stages in Mexico, the Carribean and Canadian indigenous communities.

    For more information on Four Directions International click here

    Some of the People Involved:

    Phil Lane Jr., M.P.A., M.E.D.

    Phil is a member of the Dakota and Chickasaw First Nations and is an internationally recognized leader in human and community development.  Phil hasd extensive experience in his own cultural traditions, is an award winning author and film producer and holds Master's Degrees in Education and Public Administration.  His film credits include the National Public Television series, "Images of Indians" with Will Sampson, "Walking With Grandfather", "The Honor of All: The Story of Alkali Lake" and "Healing the Hurts".

    During the past 30 years, he has worked with indigenous people in North and South America, Micronesia, Thailand, Hawaii, and Africa.  He served 16 years as Associate Professor with the Faculty of Education and Founder and International Coordinator of the Four Worlds Development Project at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.  In July 1994, the Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development was established as an independent institute.  In July 1994, Four Directions International was incorporated as the economic arm of the Four Worlds International Institute.  Four Directions International is dedicated to the development of sustainable economic enterprises that support wholistic educational, social, cultural, environmental, spiritual, and political development.  Presently, Phil is President of Four Directions International and serves as the International Coordinator of the Four Worlds International Institute.  Phil, also serves as Chairman of Four Directions Information Systems (4DISC), an Aboriginal information technology business initiative launched in December of 1996 and is a member of the International Board of the WETV Corporation.

    In 1992, Phil was the first indigenous person to receive the prestigious Windstar Award, presented annually to a global citizen whose personal and professional life exemplifies a commitment to a global perspective, operates with awareness of the spiritual dimensions of human existence and demonstrates concrete actions of benefit to the human and living systems of the Earth.

    Michael Bopp, Ph.D.

    Michael is currently a director of the Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning, which is dedicated to building the capacity of both government and non-governmental sectors for organizational and community development.

    Michael is a specialist in participatory change and development processes, and is well known for his innovative training, consulting and mentoring work related to helping professionals learn how to work effectively with communities. He has twenty years experience working with indigenous communities and development organizations all over the world, and has worked in Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, the former Soviet Union, and indigenous North America.

    Michael has recently designed and developed a masters degree level program in applied human and community development through a joint venture between Four Worlds and the California School of Professional Psychology in Fresno, California.

    Michael has led many program feasibility, planning and design, and monitoring and evaluation projects. He has also published extensively and led thousands of hours training on topics related to human systems transformation, community health, and learning for social change.

    Judie Bopp, Ph.D. Candidate

    Judie is currently a director of the Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning. Judie is a specialist in curriculum design and development and organizational transformation. She is well known for her expertise in culturally based and experiential learning, and has designed and written numerous learning programs for schools, colleges and adult training programs.

    She has provided training, technical support and evaluation services related to program development and organizational change to many different types of groups, ranging from the ministries of national governments to small non-governmental organizations. She has worked in Africa, the South Pacific, China, the former Soviet Union and across North America. She has also provided technical support to many Canadian and American professional organizations and indigenous communities.

    Judie has recently co-authored (with Michael Bopp) two books, the first related to community based sexual abuse intervention and the other concerning building sustainable community.


    Four Worlds has produced a broad range of development-related curriculum training materials and other publications. Here is a partial list:

    · Walking With Grandfather Curriculum Package This six-part video and teachers guide is a student-centered language arts program utilizing traditional Native American storytelling heritage in identi~ing myth, the use of symbols and mastering figurative language for the understanding of human relationships.

    · The Sacred Tree This book illustrates the universal concepts, teachings and ancient disciplines practiced by Native societies in conceptualizing the nature, purpose and possibilities of human existence.

    · The Sacred Tree Curriculum Package Consists of a teachers guide, student copies of The Sacred Tree book, seven resource books, four videos, posters and other visual aids and games designed to facilitate the exploration of through personal growth and interpersonal communication.

    · Unity In Diversity This comprehensive multicultural education program is designed to help junior high school students develop an appreciation for the diversity of the human family while at the same time developing the skills to work together to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in their peer group, the school community and the community as a whole. The curriculum package consists of a teachers guide, a student text, and other learning resources such as videos, games, posters and student worksheets.

    · Moving Towards Wholeness A substance abuse prevention training manual providing educators with a basic model for the development and implementation of a school-based prevention program involving parents, the community, resource people and teachers.

    · Learning For Life A youth social skills training program targeting prevention and the development of normative values and skills utilized in problem solving, decision making skills, interpersonal and communication strategies.

    · Recreating Native Education This case study in program evaluation and design guides school staff, adrninistrators, boards and community members in effecting a culturally appropriate education program.

    · Culture: The Ultimate Curriculum This publication discusses the concept of

    organic curriculum, the process by which all cultures learn to live in relationship to the

    universe. The paper highlights important implications for education and educators.

    · Taking Time To Listen This publication describes a community-based research method for assisting community members and front-line professionals in the development of programs specific to the community's culture.

    · Developing Healthy Communities A wholistic framework is presented for development thinking, followed by down-to-earth strategies for community~- level workers and outside agencies implementing community development programs in healing and self-development.

    · Where Do We Go From Here This document utilizes the medicine wheel in outlining a framework for wholistic community planning and development, offering practical steps needed to generate and empower public participation at every stage of the planning and development process.

    · Elder Health Manual This practical manual is designed to assist community health workers, mental health staff, home care nurses and workers, social workers, substance abuse counselors, community volunteers and family caregivers in developing effective community-based strategies and programs in promoting the health and well-beirg of elders.

    · The Four Worlds Exchange A thematic journal for front-line field workers that shares ideas, innovations, resources and technical information on 1) Youth and Development, 2) Beyond Alcohol: Native Communities in Recovery, 3) Economic Development and Health, 4) Surviving the Front Lines, 5) Talking Responsibility for Health, 6) Aids Prevention, and 7) Spirituality and Development.

    · Towards The Year 2000 Offers a succinct summary of the history, philosophy, accumulated practical experiences, guiding principles and founding vision of Four Worlds.

    · Where We've Been ... Where We're Going This video chronicles Indigenous peoples experiences in utilizing cultural traditions in substance abuse recovery.

    · The Honor Of All This now famous three-part video docu-drama chronicles the true-life journey of the Shuswap people of Alkali Lake, British Columbia in their recovery from the cultural and spiritual destruction endemic in alcoholic communities.

    · Healing The Hurts This dynamic video documents a culturally based healing process for understanding and recovering from the traumatic experiences of the Indian boarding school.

    · Recreating The World A 300 page book offering a practical guide to building a sustainable community, presents theories, models and analysis and learning resources (stories, games, activities, etc.) related to community development practice.

    To see the the resource catalogue for ordering any of these materials click here


    (1) Feasibility and Planning Mission
    Related to Primary Health Care and Information and Communication Technology in Benin, West Africa (February/March 1997) International Development Research Centre (IRDC), Ottawa. Contact, Gilles Forget (613) 616-2545 Sub-contract through Inter-Delta. Contact, Allan Fuller (819) 777-1042

    (2) Training Manual
    Development and field testing of an introductory training manual for Aboriginal Sexual Abuse Community Intervention Teams ~ov. 1996 - April 1997) Solicitor General Canada. Contact, Sharon McCue (613) 991-2023 Sub-contract throughInter-Delta. Contact, Allen Fuller (819) 777-I 042

    (3) Training Manual
    Development of a tralning manual focused on managing sexual abuse disclosures in Aboriginal communities (March 1997 - October 1997) Solicitor General Canada, Contact, Sharon McCue (613) 991-2023 Sub-contract through Inter-Delta. Contact, Allen Fuller (819) 777-1 042

    (4) Canada - China University Linkage Project Planning Mission
    (October 1996) CIDA/Simon Fraiser University. Contact, Dr. Glen Eyford (403) 459-4863 or Dr. Jan Wall (604)291-5021

    (5) Mid-Term Evaluations of the Canada Ukraine Partners Civil Society Program
    (April 1997) CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) Contact, Maury Miloff(819) 994-1 739

    (6) Save the Children Community Capacity Building Project
    Training related to community development work with Save the Children field workers for Native American communities in New Mexico and Arizona (May - Nov. 1996) Contact, Alvin Smith (505) 786-7376

    (7) Nunuvat Leadership Community Management Distance Education Development
    (June 1996 - March 1997) Contract with CCMD (Canadian Centre for Management Development) Contact: Michele Smith (819)997-4199

    (8) Community Health Development Planning
    The Hamlet of Rankin Inlet, NWT. Facilitating Participatory Action Planning (PAR) needs assessment and community action planning process for health development, training local providers in the processes and supervision of the documentation of the research process and outcomes. (March 1997 - March 1998) Contact, Ms. Gerri Pflueger (819) 645-2467

    (9) Development of an Accredited Field-Based Masters Degree Program in Applied Human and Community Development
    (July 1995 - June 1997) Funded by the Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, Michig~) and developed in association with the California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno California, Contact, Dr. Mary Beth Kenkel, Chancellor (209) 253-2237

    (10) Aboriginal Substance Abuse Community Prevention Training Manual Development and field testing
    (October 1995 - December 1996) Contractor: Health Canada, Health Promotion Branch. Contact, Michele Bourque (613) 957-3398

    (11) Evaluation of CIDAJUNICEF Poverty Alleviation Project
    (Education Component) in Thailand (1988) Contact, CIDA Project Officer: Dr. Ray Obamsawan, Policy and Evaluation Branch 1-800-230-6349

    (12) Municipal Leadership Training
    Design and delivery of two modules of tralning (20 hours) for managers with the Municipality of Medicine Hat, Alberta. (May, June 1997) Contact, Ms. Pat Jardine (403) 283-6044

    Back Home