Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr.

Heriditary Chief Phil Lane Jr.
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.

During the past 50 years, Chief Lane has worked with Indigenous Peoples from the Americas, Micronesia, South East Asia, China, 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, Chief Lane co-founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) with Indigenous Elders and Spiritual Leaders. Phil is also Chairman of Four Directions International and Compassion Games International.

Chief Lane has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognition. He was the first Indigenous person to win the prestigious Windstar Award, presented annually on behalf of the late John Denver and the Windstar Foundation. In 2000, he received the Year 2000 Award for Freedom and Human Rights, awarded by the Swiss Foundation. Other award winners include Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the Dalai Lama, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Yevgeni Velikhov, Vice President Soviet Academy of Sciences. 

In 2008, Chief Lane received the Ally Award presented by the Center for Healing Racism. Particular emphasis for this award was for his dedicated work, for more than 19 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. The process resulted in a more than $4 billion settlement for Residential School survivors.

On August 15, 1992, recognizing 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 Nation through a Traditional Headdress Ceremony.

Chief Lane is a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Council of Elders. He is the host of the Shift Network’s  Global Indigenous Wisdom Summits. Chief Lane is also an Honorary International Advisor to the Help Foundation of the Beijing Women’s and Children’s Development Foundation and a co-founder and Global Trustee of the United Religions Initiative.

In 1982,  Chief Lane founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) with Indigenous elders and spiritual leaders across North America. FWII became an independent Institute in 1995. With Chief Lane’s 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 development elements. 

The FWII’s major 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 Fourth Way focuses on 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 uses cutting-edge digital communications technologies for local, regional, and global change by collectively addressing the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples’ Human Family, and Mother Earth, particularly the leadership development and participation of our younger generations. Another primary focus has been supporting the development of the Salish Sea Bioregional Marine Sanctuary and other Bioregional Sanctuaries globally. 

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.  After coaching and teaching at Walla Walla Community College from 1968-1970,  Chief Lane’s work began 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 in 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’s 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 Nation-States. When fulfilled by all parties concerned, it will be a global model and guiding light for unifying Indigenous Peoples and the 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 communities, 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 in 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 rural and urban communities, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Participatory Human and Community Development, Youth Leadership Development, and the development of Bioregional Marine Sanctuaries.

  6. Supporting the non-political election of Four Worlds Panama Board of Directors in April 2016. The Board of Directors of Four Worlds Panama comprises 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, Spanish, and others.  The Board selects Advisors in various areas of needed expertise over 35. They are being mentored to eventually guide the work of the Four Worlds Foundation across Latin America.

  7. Since June 2013, the Four Worlds Foundation has developed extensive relationships with Indigenous First Nations, NGOs, and Allies in Panama, 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 Gatherings, Annual Anniversaries of the Kuna Revolution of 1925,  Annual Meeting and Elections of the Nogle-Bugle Nation, COP21, COP22, and 

The work of the Four Worlds Foundation is summarized in this Pictorial Report of June 2013-Dec.2015.


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 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.