Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr. is a member of the Hinhan Wicasa Oyate, Yankton Sioux Tribe and Chickasaw Nation. For more than 45 years Phil has been working with Indigenous peoples from across the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, Hawaii and Africa. In 1970-1971, Phil worked with Indigenous peoples in Bolivia. It was here where he began his lifelong dedication, with other indigenous peoples, toward actualizing the Reunion of the Condor and the Eagle. Phil served 16 years as an associate professor in Indigenous Education at the University of Lethbridge, where, in 1982, he co-founded – with elders from across North America – the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII). With the guidance of the Four Worlds Elders Council and Phil’s leadership and applied experience, FWII has become an internationally recognized leader in human, community and organizational development because of the institute’s unique focus on the importance of culture and spirituality in all dimensions of 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 Masters degrees in education and public administration. His film credits include the National PBS series Images of Indians with the late Will Sampson, Walking With Grandfather, and The Honor of All: The Story of Alkali Lake and Healing the Hurt, the first documentary to bring to public attention to Canada’s infamous residential school system’s intergenerational physical, emotional, cultural, mental and sexual abuse of more than 150,000 aboriginal children across Canada. In August 1992, Phil was the first Indigenous person to win the prestigious Windstar Award, presented annually by the late 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.” At this international event, in recognition of his hereditary lineage and long-time service to Indigenous peoples and the human family, Indigenous elders from across North America recognized Phil as a Hereditary Chief.
In November, 2000, Phil received the International Award for Freedom and Human Rights from the Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights in Berne, Switzerland. Since 2007, FWII’s work has included a special focus on utilizing digital communications technologies for developing "Deep Social Networks and the Digital Fourth Way." The focus of The Fourth Way is contributing to the unification of the human family by co-creating community-based, culturally-respectful, principle-centered strategies and programming that transcends assimilation, resignation and conflict. The Fourth Way is guided by the "Four Worlds Principles for Co-Creating a Sustainable and Harmonious World," developed through a consultation process with Indigenous peoples across the Americas. These principle-centered, collaboratively created and community-based digital networks' purpose includes: uplifting education, sustainable development, child protection and social justice with Indigenous peoples and other members of the human family in the Americas, Southeast Asia and beyond.