Back Home



Phil Lane Jr. is a member of the Yankton Dakota and Chickasaw tribes and is an internationally recognized leader in human and community development and is a traditionally recognized hereditary Chief. He was born at the Haskell Indian Residential School where his mother and father met and attended school.

Since 1968, Phil has been working with Indigenous people in North, Central and South America, Micronesia, Thailand, India, Hawaii and Africa. He served 16 years as Associate Professor and Founder and Coordinator of the Four Worlds Development Project at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. In July, 1994 the Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development was established as an independent institute. In July, 1995 Four Directions International was incorporated as the economic development arm of the Four Worlds International Institute.

Presently Phil is President of Four Directions International and serves as the International Coordinator for the Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development. Phil, also, serves as Chairman of the Four Directions Information Systems Corporation, an Aboriginal Information Technology business initiative launched in December of 1996 and is a member of the International Board of the WETV Corporation. Phil is also an adjunct professor at the Canadian Center for Management Development specializing in Aboriginal governance systems and diversity training.

With Phil’s guidance and applied experience, The Four Worlds International Institute has become an internationally recognized leader in human and community transformation because of the institute’s unique focus on the importance of culture and spirituality in all dimensions of human and community development. Four Directions International is dedicated to the development of sustainable economic enterprises that support wholistic, political, social, cultural, environmental, spiritual and educational development.

In 1977, Phil 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 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".

In August, 1992, Phil was the first Indigenous person to receive the prestigious Windstar Award, presented annually by John Denver and the Windstar Foundation to a global citizen whose personal and professional life exemplifies commitment to a global perspective, operates with awareness of the spiritual dimension of human existence and demonstrates concrete actions of the benefit for humans and all living systems of the Earth. Other Windstar winners include: Oceanologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, David Brower, Founder of the Earth Island Institute, Yevgeni Velikhov, Vice President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Wangari Maathai, founder of Kenya’s Greenbelt Movement; Akio Matsumura, Executive Director of The Global Forum, and Lester Brown, President of the World Watch Institute.

On November 11, 2000, Phil received the Year 2000 award from the Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights in Berne, Switzerland. Phil was the first North or South American person to receive the award, and he joins a select international group: the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Dr. Boutro Boutros Ghali, former Secretary General of the United Nations, and British Lord Yehudi Menuhin, musician and philosopher, have received the award.

The foundation says the award is in recognition of Phil's "unique contributions to improve the lives and future hopes of native populations. It is primarily based on his most special merits of promoting freedom and justice for indigenous people by building human and spiritual capacity rather than opposing oppression direction and also on his international visionary initiatives amoung Native populations by healing the root causes of hopelessness and despair."

Back Home