From the European perspective of hereditary leadership, Phil was born of true “royalty” in every meaning of that word; his is an ancient lineage of hereditary spiritual and political leadership that has never compromised norsurrendered their age-old promises to serve the best interests of the peoplewith justice, compassion, respect, nobility, love, and courage in the face of the greatest adversities and challenges. In 1992 Phil, himself, was formallyrecognized as a hereditary Chief, following in the footsteps of those thatwent before him, through a traditional headdress ceremony conducted byrespected tribal elders from across North America. This sacred headdressceremony was performed during the same occasion that Phil received theprestigious Windstar Award, presented annually by the late John Denver andthe Windstar Foundation to a global citizen whose personal and professionallife exemplifies commitment to a global perspective, operates withawareness of the spiritual dimension of human existence, and demonstratesconcrete actions of the benefit for humans and all living systems of theEarth. Other Windstar winners include: Oceanologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau; Yevgeni Velikhov, Vice President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences; WangariMaathai, founder of Kenya’s Greenbelt Movement.On his father’s side, Phil’s great-grandfather was Chief Philip Deloria or Teepee Sapa (Black Lodge), who raised Phil’s father during his youngeryears, after the young boy’s beloved mother died at an early age fromtuberculoses. Along with being a hereditary Chief and Spiritual Leader of theWhite Swan Dakotas, Chief Deloria, without ever rejecting or demeaningDakota traditional ways, also became an Anglican Minister.For forty years, Chief Deloria ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of the Great Sioux Nation, as well as representing his Dakota people of the Yankton Sioux Tribe in their on-going treaty negotiations with the U.S.government. In 1936, in honor of his noble character, selfless service, anddedication to uplifting his people, Chief Deloria’s image was included as oneof the 60 Saints of the Ages whose statues grace the High Altar of theNational Cathedral in Washington, D.C.A generation earlier, Phil’s Great-Great-Grandfather, Owl Man (Teepee Sapa’sfather), was also a traditionally recognized Chief, as well as the leader of hispeople’s “Holy Man’s Society.” As a Head Chief, Owl Man represented theDakota people in meetings at the White House in Washington, D.C. and inthe signing of the 1858 treaty with the U.S. Government. It was Owl Manthat carefully trained the horse, Eagle Claws, and the rider, Brown Bear, thatslayed the White Buffalo, as prophesied, and whose hereditary lineage of leadership is the recipient of the spiritual understanding, power, and visionsymbolized and empowered by the prophesied act of slaying this WhiteBuffalo. He was also widely known and respected for his great healingpowers as a Holy Man and a Spiritual Visionary.
Laudatory: Phil Lane, Jr.2