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Protecting the Sacred in a Shattered World

By Phil Lane Jr.

Unified Spiritual Action Required

The following is a keynote address delivered by Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. of the Ihanktowan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations. He was speaking to the 3rd Annual International Indigenous Leaders Gathering focused on the theme “Protecting the Sacred.” It was held in Lillooet, British Columbia, May 30-June 5, 2011.

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Beloved Friends and Relatives,

With heartfelt gratitude to the St’at’imc Chiefs’ Council and Nation, I want to extend a warm and loving embrace to each of you who have gathered here for “Protecting the Sacred.” Together, we are destined, by the Ancient of Days, to unite, deepen, expand, and empower the healing and transformation process of our Indigenous peoples, our communities and our human family, fulfilling the sacred prophecies of the visionaries and spiritual leaders of all our tribes and nations. 



These ancient prophecies promise that after a very difficult and painful spiritual wintertime, our Indigenous peoples will fully arise from our suffering to become global leaders in the spiritual transformation, reconciliation, and healingof our human family. Spiritual wintertime is ending and our long-promised spiritual springtime is unfolding, with ever-increasing strength and beauty.

In this healing and transformation process we are beginning to understand the spiritual purpose of our sometimes almost unbearable inter-generational pain and suffering. Coming together and sharing, we will more deeply understand how the great tests, difficulties, and injustices faced for more than five centuries have been spiritual preparation for our leadership role in healing humanity’s pain, injustice, and shame of the past. In this divine process everyone comes to understand that the hurt of one hurts all and the honour of one honours all.

Our Foundation

The spiritual understanding and awareness that every human being is sacred, a divine being with a higher spiritual purpose, is fundamental to understanding and manifesting these sacred prophecies.  Not only do we each need to honour, respect and protect our own sacred and divine self; we must also learn to see and experience this same spiritual reality in every other human being.

Only through developing and living into our spiritual nature and capacities can we realize the oneness of the human family. This includes respecting and honouring all the different spiritual traditions and their sacred teachings, helping us become more loving, kind, forgiving, gentle, and just human beings.

When I travelled to the sacred lands of the great tribes and nations of Israel and Palestine, I prayed at the Wailing Wall, a holy place of prayer of the tribes of Israel for so many centuries, and I felt the Spirit of the Creator.  When I prayed at places held sacred by Christian tribes and nations, I felt the Spirit of the Creator. And when I prayed at the Dome of the Rock Mosque on the Temple Mount and other sites held sacred by the great tribes and nations of Islam, I felt the Spirit of the Creator.

It was the same at the Baha’i sacred sites on Mount Carmel, at Buddhist and Hindu holy places in China, India, and Thailand, and at the sacred places of our Indigenous peoples around the world. Every holy place on Mother Earth is a reflection of that Divine holy place that resides in every human heart and soul, where each of us is sovereignty, ancient, imperishable, and everlasting. 

Our Connectedness



In fully understanding that all members of the human family are intimately related, we realize true peace within and around us. Then we know that our greatest honour and most meaningful responsibility is to love, serve, and respect our own sacred divinity and the sacredness of all life. Without this, we will have no lasting justice, no freedom or peace, no actualization of human rights and prosperity for all.

Only in experiencing the divine reality that there is but one race, the human race; only in knowing that Mother Earth is the spiritual heritage of all living beings, can we develop the environmental, social, and political systems that are life-preserving and sustaining.  Only then, will we eliminate the growing extremes of wealth and poverty supported and fuelled by the spiritual sickness of unbridled greed, materialism, and consumerism.

At Issue

A spiritually enlightened humanity will not tolerate a world where 80 percent of our beloved family live in substandard housing or are homeless, where 70 percent are unable to read and write, where 50 percent suffer from malnutrition and survive on less than $2.00 U.S. a day, where only six percent of humanity possesses 60 percent of the world’s wealth. 

It is also important to understand the heart-rending reality of what is happening to our beloved Mother Earth. Each year we lose 12 million hectares of forest. This has already reduced Mother Earth’s forests from six billion hectares to three billion, destroying half of our world’s forests. The United Nations states that two-thirds of all that is provided by Mother Earth is in decline.   Ninety percent of large ocean fish – tuna, marlin, cod, and halibut – are gone. Life around us is disappearing at a rate 1000-times faster than natural extinction. Twelve percent of our bird relatives, 25 percent of our animal relatives, and 32 percent of our amphibian relatives are threatened with extinction in this century.

Scientists have shown that humanity consumes 50 percent more resources each year than our Mother Earth can sustain. Forty percent of the coral reefs have been destroyed. We have dammed 30,000 rivers. We drain aquifers and inland seas. Rivers fail to reach the sea, and yet we continue to heat up Mother Earth by burning fossil fuels. At this rate of devastation there will be no life or future left for our future generations. Only our immediate, direct, unified spiritual action will turn this around!

To transform the growing challenges and actualize the great, promised future, we must walk the spiritual path with practical feet and translate our dreams and visions into living examples and models of what this promised global change will actually look like.  Only by courageously walking the ancient, principle-centred path, the Red Road of our ancestors, being the change we want to see, will we make the path to a peaceful, sustainable, and harmonious future visible.

The Need for Healing

White Buffalo

White Buffalo

Fundamental to fulfilling our sacred prophecies is the healing from oppression, abuse, hurt, and injustice, past and present. Only by addressing our own abuse can we be assured of not continuing the same abusive and hurtful patterns of behaviour we ourselves have suffered. Then can come the trust, love, wisdom, and undaunted courage to take the actions required for protecting the Sacred, ending the destruction of Mother Earth, and unifying the human family, as promised by the Ancient Ones.

The prophetic signs could not be clearer that we are entering the final phase of the fulfillment of our promised destiny. We see them in natural disasters, in changing weather patterns and global warming, in our deepening social violence and upheaval, within the growing impotence and disunity of our political systems, and in our deranged and unbalanced global economic systems teetering on the edge of collapse.

The materialistic, individualistic ways of living increasingly embraced over the past five hundred years do not meet our needs or Mother Earth’s. Unbridled competition, selfishness, divisiveness, materialism, addictions, and greed are outworn, unsustainable, and spiritually bankrupt, broken beyond repair.

Without unconditional love and forgiveness for ourselves and others, we will be unable to heal the age- old fear, mistrust, greed, and hatred destroying the heart of the human family.  Only by following a principle-centered, culturally based path called for in the 4th Way and similar spiritually and culturally grounded approaches will we have the wisdom and vision to overcome the abuse of the human spirit and spiritual sickness surrounding us.

In protecting the Sacred for our children, our families, for those yet unborn and the natural environment that sustains all life, it is instructive note what is being called the “Arab Spring.” With great respect to all concerned, this people-centred movement that is being manifested by our relatives in the Middle East is not being led by a Gandhi, a Martin Luther King, a Barack Obama, a Stephen Harper, the G8, the United Nations, or the World Bank. This movement is being led by human beings who love their children, their families and their communities, people just like us.

This movement and other similar people-centred movements, small and large, are now springing up around Mother Earth. They are another clear sign of the “Global Spring” that is emerging, from within, everywhere, all at once, as prophesied. Though assisted by digital communications, these growing global movements are being led by millions of human beings, many of them living in grinding poverty, without clean water and adequate housing, or the resources to feed and educate their children. 

The Condor & Eagle

The Condor & Eagle

These obstacles have not stopped the people who are rising up and taking leadership. As long prophesied, these local, regional and global movements are, by and large, being led by the 7th Generation. These emerging generations of young people now make up the majority of the world’s population. The long-promised time has come to take immediate, courageous, localized, collective, and spiritually based actions to end the destruction of Mother Earth. Locally-based, unified and immediate spiritual actions for protecting the Sacred envision a peaceful, sustainable, harmonious and prosperous world for generations to come.

Through the unfailing power, grace and love of our Ever-Forgiving and Merciful Creator, the time has come to fearlessly free ourselves from every remnant of our hurt and pain and soar together with the freedom and spiritual majesty long prophesied by the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle. To gracefully enter the Sacredness of the Circle of Life and fully manifest the long promised greatness of our destiny and future. To protect the Sacred as humble, respectful, just, unified and loving members and spiritual leaders of our human family, as prophesied by the Ancient Ones.

With Warm, Respectful and Loving Greetings,

Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr.

Ihanktowan, Dakota, Chickasaw Nation