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 54 years, Chief Lane has worked with Indigenous Peoples from the Americas, Micronesia, Southeast Asia, China, India, Hawaii, and Africa. He served 16 years as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education program 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. FWII became an independent Institute in 1995. Today, Chief Phil leads Four Directions International, an Aboriginal company, incorporated in 1996 as the Four Worlds’ economic development arm ( The Institute’s unique work focuses on the importance of culture and spirituality in all elements of Indigenous development. Four Directions International is dedicated to the development of self-sustaining Indigenous enterprises that support a holistic political, social, cultural, and environmentally responsible approach to spiritual and educational development.

Chief Lane is the recipient of multiple awards and recognition. He was the first Indigenous person to win the prestigious Windstar Award, and he received Award for Freedom and Human Rights from the Swiss Foundation in 2000. In 2008, he received the Ally Award presented by the Center for Healing Racism. The Ally Award emphasized Chief Lane’s dedicated work for more than 19 years as one of the key Indigenous leaders in the resolution of Canada’s Residential School issue. He currently serves as a member of the Council of Elders for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). He is also the host of the Shift Network’s Global Indigenous Wisdom Summits. And Chief Lane is 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.