Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s first-ever “Evolved Person of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the activist, organizer, veteran, and native elder, Nathan Phillips.
Philips was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he spent his first five years in a traditional Omaha Nation tribal home. From about the age of five, when he was separated from his mother, he was raised in a white foster family. He went to Lincoln Southeast High School. Phillips served in the U.S. Marines from 1972 to 1976. From October 1972 to February 1973, he was classified as an antitank missile-man.
Nathan Phillips is a former director of the Native Youth Alliance, a group aiming to uphold the traditional culture and spiritual ways for future Native Americans. He is a well-known Native American activist who was among those leading the Standing Rock protests in 2016 and 2017 against the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Here is Nathan Phillips in his own words in regards to his infamous standoff with MAGA-hat wearing youth in January 2019.
“At its core, it is also simply a song of strength and courage—a gift. It’s a shame, really, that the boys misunderstood the offering. “I see a bright, beautiful future if we want it . . . it’s there for us,”… “It’s ours to pass on to the next generation.” Medicine, as a friend said. Fellowship.”
Today we honor the elder Nathan Phillips as our Evolved Man of the Week.