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Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights Award Laudatory,

Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights Award Laudatory,

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Laudatory given at the presentation of the Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights Award to Chief Phil Lane Jr. in Bern, Switzerland by the Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights
Laudatory given at the presentation of the Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights Award to Chief Phil Lane Jr. in Bern, Switzerland by the Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) on Jan 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Swiss Foundation for Freedom and Human Rights Year 2000 International Award for Freedom and Human RightsLaudatory of Recipient Phil Lane Jr.November 11, 2000 - Berne, Switzerland
Prepared by Dr. Michael Bopp
There is a well known Dakota teaching story called “The Great Wolf and Little Mouse Sister” in which a tiny, insignificant mousefeels compassion for a great wolf that has lost his eyes becauseof his greed, arrogance and foolishness. As the story opens, thewolf is howling, crying, and flailing the ground in despair. Now heis blind. How can he hunt? How will he survive? The little mouseshould have had the good sense to stay away, for after all, shewas nothing more than a small bite of food to a wolf. Anyway,what could she possibly do to help? And yet something calleher, and she bravely approached the wolf with curiosity ancompassion in her heart.We live in a world in which many of the great wolves of power have lost their eyes. And because they lead nations and powerfulorganizations, their blindness plunges many others besidethemselves into darkness. When these powerful self-centered beasts become desperate and afraid, or are totally absorbed inself-interest, they often hurt vulnerable people within their reach.Sometimes they do it intentionally, in order to deflect oppositionto themselves onto a convenient scapegoat. Other times, they simply roll over little people without really even consciously realizing what they are doing. When the great wolves are blind,we are all in danger.
[Pause]Phil Lane Jr. was born at Haskell Indian Residential School where his mother,Lena Parker Vale and his father Philip Nathan Lane Sr. first met and latermarried. Having tribal ancestors that made all of North America their home,he is a citizen of both Canada and the United States. Although he considersCanada his home, he is a true North American.
Laudatory: Phil Lane, Jr.1
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
On his mother’s side, Phil’s great-grandfather was John Wesley Parker, a full-blooded Chickasaw, who was raised by his aunt and uncle (who was theGovernor (Chief) of the Chickasaw Nation), after his parents died tragicallyon the Trail of Tears. The infamous Trail of Tears occurred when the U.S.Military force-marched the Chickasaw people over 1,000 miles through thedead of winter from Tennessee to the Oklahoma Territory. Many of theChickasaws died of starvation, exhaustion, and the bitter, freezing cold. John Wesley Parker spoke 17 different Native American languages andserved as the Official Translator between the many different tribes who livedin the Oklahoma Territory. He was also Commissioner of the ChickasawNation, a Senator and President of the Chickasaw Senate, and arepresentative to the Chickasaw Legislature. He was known throughout theOklahoma Territory as a man of great integrity and wisdom.Phil’s beloved parents have continued this age-old traditional lineage of spiritual leadership and service. Over the years, they both have beenpublicly recognized through various prestigious awards and honorarypositions for their lifetime of dedicated service to indigenous people. Theyboth are regarded as among the most respected and well loved tribal eldersof North America.At 85 years of age, Phil’s father still loves to ride and train quarter horsesand along with Phil’s mother, who is 82, is still very active at home and inserving the community. Phil’s beloved Sister, Deloria and her husband JacobBig Horn have also, dedicated their lives in service to the people.From his childhood, Phil’s father and mother never let Phil forget that heinherited an important legacy of responsibilities for service and leadershipamong his people from the lineage’s of both his father and his mother. Aswell, Phil’s Chickasaw grandmother Ella Parker Vale and his Chickasaw auntMarlema Vale Dugan were particularly influential in instilling a sense of destiny and a deep connection to his indigenous cultural roots. On hisDakota side, Phil’s grandmother Ella Deloria and grandfather Vine Deloria Sr.and his uncles Vine Deloria Sr. and Samuel Deloria also served asinspirational role models. His father sometimes reminded him of an oldDakota teaching that said,
Friend, do it this way.When a man stands in the hoop of the people,he must to be responsiblebecause he does not stand-alone.Many others stand behind him,
Laudatory: Phil Lane, Jr.3

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