Tapestry Staff


Dawn (seated, left) enjoys visiting with Indigenous research graduate students in Montana, October 2014.

Co-President Dawn Hill Adams, Ph.D. (Choctaw) is Tapestry’s Founder and Senior Scientist, and was its first President. She has been awarded five grants for science education from the National Science Foundation, is a scientific illustrator and registered Choctaw artist, a speaker, and also an author who is presently working on two books. She holds a Doctorate in Vertebrate Paleontology with emphases on biomechanics and evolutionary theory from the University of California, Berkeley (1989). Her Master’s degree in Systematics and Ecology is from the University of Kansas (1977), as is her Bachelor’s degree in Geology (1974). She taught at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina from 1986 to 1989, and at Baylor University in Waco, Texas from 1989 to 1998, where she ran a successful graduate program. She has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. She is active in the American Indigenous Research Association. She delivered keynote addresses to AIRA in 2013 and 2014 and a platform paper in 2016. She presented a keynote to the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) in 2014. Her most recent publication is “An experience-based perspective on the relationship between indigenous and Western epistemic systems in research,” in Evaluation Matters—He Take Tō Te Aromatawai 4: 2018. [Contact Dawn]


Jo makes a presentation about Tapestry’s Horse Ibachakali program to the “Soaring to New Heights” conference sponsored by WINGS Foundation, Denver, September 2014.

Co-President Joanne (Jo) L. Belasco, Esq. came into Tapestry as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Sponsored Research Officer in 1998, and served in that capacity until September of 2007 when she accepted the mantle of President. She received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in Boston in 1993 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (1990) from Boston College.  She worked as an attorney for the Boston Police Department and was Editor-in-Chief of Law Enforcement Publications for Quinlan Publishing before joining Tapestry.  She is an experienced professional riding instructor and horse trainer.  Belasco initiated and developed Tapestry’s Horse-Human Relationship Program in 2001.  That program led to the creation of Horse Ibachakali, which incorporates horses, mindfulness, and Indigenous worldview to teach people about the relationship between humans and nature.  In 2018, she launched Tapestry’s the Land and the Law Program, which helps people reconnect to nature by exploring the connection between law and the natural world.  She also teaches about areas of environmental law so that people can understand issues concerning the Land, particularly in areas sacred to and inhabited by Indigenous people. She is also an ecopsychology educator and carries out scholarship in the fields of ecofeminism, spiritual ecology, and the horse-human and nature-human relationships.

Click here to meet the rest of Tapestry’s staff: the Mustangs and other horses who work as healers and teachers in our programs.