top of page
Four Woirlds International Logo.png

The Four World International Institute is a family of peoples and organizations, bound together by a set of guiding principles, found at the heart of Indigenous cultures of  the Americas and beyond. As well, Four Worlds has drawn upon the best of Western Science and Technology. 

Since its founding in 1982 by Indigenous Elders across Turtle Island, Four Worlds is dedicated to learning how to best support individuals, their families, organizations, communities, and nations in building a healthy,   sustainable and harmonious future for all Members of the Human Family.

Four Worlds has distinguished itself for its efforts to place culture at the center of the development process and for its attention to the psychological and spiritual dimensions of development. The interactive research techniques that Four Worlds have developed and the community processes it can initiate are designed specifically to draw the direction, the shape, and the motivation for development from the cultures of the people participating.

FOUR WORLDS INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE is an internationally recognized leader in holistic human, community, organizational and economic development because of the Institute’s unique focus on the importance of culture and spirituality in all elements of development. During the past 36 years FWII has worked extensively with Indigenous Peoples across the Americas and SE Asia.

FOUR WORLDS INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE was born out of the intense deliberations and prayers of a gathering of native elders and community leaders that was held on the Blood Indian Reservation on the high plains of Alberta in the last week of December 1982. Forty distinguished representatives of North American tribes met in search of a solution to the social devastation brought on by, alcohol, poverty, and an increasing sense of powerlessness that was sweeping across tribal communities.

four Worlds Logo White.png
Founding Members
Circle Of Elders


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, Bhutan, 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 founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII). As well, Phil is 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, he received the Year 2000 Award for Freedom and Human Rights given by the Swiss Foundation. In 2008, Chief Lane received the Ally Award presented by the Center for Healing Racism. On August 15, 1992, in recognition of 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 currently serves as 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, and an Honorary International Advisor to the Help Foundation of the Beijing Women's and Children’s Development Foundation and is a co-founder and Global Trustee of the United Religions Initiative


Greetings to you my Relative(s)!


Miniconjou, Oglala, Hunkpapa, & Ihanktonwan of Great Sioux Nation

Enrolled member of Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, South Dakota


International Coordinator of Four Worlds Elder Health Program


Commissioner: Global Justice and Healing Commission


Peace Ambassador Crow Creek Sioux Tribe


Ceremonial Leader, spiritual activist & spiritual counselor


Meditation and Consciousness Facilitator & Healer


RN, BS Nursing, MA Counseling Psychology


Former Faculty, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing


Founder of Crow Creek Kunsi/Unci Grandmothers Society


Parliament of World Religions: Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee, 2015


Ceremony, Plum Village, France: Earth Week, 2019


Co-Sponsor Horse Dance Ceremonies for Healing of Women & Children 2015-18 with Chief Arvol Looking Horse


Co-Established Consultation for all Tribes with Centers for Medicare~ Medicaid & 20 Departments of government


Founder Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee: global wide ceremonies with pledge to end war and massacre

Founder Sacred Earth Council hosting a 4-year ceremonial cycle to heal multi-generational trauma carried within all of humankind.



Ejna Jean Fleury

mona polacca image.jpeg


Mona Polacca


Mona is a Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa elder, has a Masters of Social Work degree and has recently been chosen as a member of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders due to her international justice work.

She has worked on issues of Indigenous Peoples especially related to the right to water, social and health issues, including the elderly native peoples.

Mona serves on several United Nations committees on indigenous people's issues and is a feature author, speaker and educator on indigenous people's human rights, aging, mental health, addition and violence.

She is also the President/CEO and faculty of the "turtle Island Project", a non profit program that promotes a vision of wellness by providing trans-cultural training to individuals, families and healthcare practitioners


Austin is chairman of the San Xavier District, one of the eleven political districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation. He is currently serving his ninth four-year term, having continuously served since 1987. In his job as chairman, he presides over district council, and community meetings; and is CEO for the district’s governmental operations.


Prior to becoming district chairman, Austin worked for four years in Native American community development programs, first serving as assistant director for an international community development organization, serving nineteen Native American nations in Arizona; and secondly for the then Papago Tribe of Arizona, as assistant director for the Community Development Program.


He is president of the San Xavier Development Authority Board, an allottee controlled board that manages the Hikdan Business Park in the San Xavier District on two allotments that hold leases with seven businesses.


He is a board member of Advanced Ceramic Manufacturing (“ACM”) LLC, a joint venture between the San Xavier Development Authority and Advanced Ceramic Research LLC, located on the Hikdan Business Park. ACM produces ceramic material and composites for the aviation industry.


He also serves on the Healing the Border Project Team, a group that is assisting in stopping the border wall construction along the U.S. and Mexico border, through meaningful dialogue and prayer, working with affected indigenous border communities whose lives, lands, cultures and environment are being unjustly affected by the construction.


He is also board president for the Indian Land Working Group, a national organization dedicated to the restoration and recovery of the Native land base, and the control and use of this land base by indigenous Native American communities. He has held this post since 2001.


He has recently been appointed to the U.S. Government Advisory Committee, providing guidance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


He has three adult children and six wonderful grandchildren. He enjoys hiking and travelling with his family.

Austin G Nunez_edited.jpg

Austin Nunez

Joan Henry Image_edited.jpg

Joan Henry


Joan Henry is a Tsalagi Cherokee, Cherokee.

Joan Henry is both hahesh’kah (lead drummer) and dekanogisgi (traditional song-carrier), and a Native Women’s Traditional dancer. Encouraged by her elders, she founded the acclaimed traditional drum group Mothers of Nations Singers & Dancers (later known as Sky Woman Singers) – the first women’s drum ever invited to the National Native American Veterans Powwow in Washington DC and the first to preside at Indigenous Peoples’ Day Opening Ceremonies for the United Nations – where Ms.


Henry has since presented on healing & spirituality among First Nations women and offered opening prayers & song for the International Day of Peace and the World Indigenous Forum.

Vocalist, actress, dancer, composer, poet-lyricist, percussionist and choreographer Joan Henry is a versatile performer connected to the living earth. When not traveling to perform solo or with family and friends bringing life to Noyeh-Ongeh, Mother Earth, a Native /jazz/fusion band that goes beyond the ordinary concert, Ms Henry teaches, presents and consults at schools, universities and museums from Wellesley & Vassar Colleges to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in New York City; works with women & youth in Indigenous communities in the US & Canada and directs empowerment and arts-in-healing programs in upstate New York.


Joan Henry and her family make their home on Spruceton Mountain in the Northern Catskills, where they welcome this season’s Thunders. It is her prayer that she honors Tsimilano & Qwat’xwu’maat of Musqueam, Shanadii of Jicarilla, her own Grandmas Kathleen Elicia & Valentine Mabel, and the many other elders who have guided her, by continuing ”to sing our world new every morning – and sing it to sleep each night.”

logo unify.jpeg


unity earth logo.png

Unity Earth

shift network image.png

Shift Network

pachamama alliance.png

Pachamama Alliance

bottom of page