Our Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the governing body of our nonprofit. The individuals listed below sit on the board and are responsible for overseeing activities of the organization, including planning of the Sundance and pipe ceremonies, acquisition and allocation of donations, supporting and supplying the volunteer kitchen staff, and maintenance of grounds and infrastructure.
President and Director
Our gratitude and many thank you’s to Ervin M Keeswood Sr of Waterflow, NM, Founding President and Director, who has resigned to give younger directors the experience of leadership. Selection of the new President is underway as of May 1, 2017.
Howard P. Bad Hand Vice President and Director
Sicangu Teton Lakota (Burnt Thigh Lakota) Maternal tiospaye: Two Strike. Paternal tiospayes: Red Leaf and Black Pipe. Taos, NM
Currently, I am 57 years old (08-02-1948) living in Taos, NM since 9-30-86 with my family. I call what I do Intuitive Consulting, and have been doing it since 1982. On the side I have also been doing workshops and talks on the appreciation, understanding and performance of Lakota music worldwide along with my I Ching workshops. Since I started working as an intuitive consultant, I have been to Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico to name a few places. I have also done phone readings on the I Ching touching nearly every country in the world and I feel blessed by that. I have taught semester length courses at the Naropa University on a few occasions, and have served as a technical consultant for a few movies including Into The West.
For the technical side of things, we have finished our movie in which I did a little bit of everything, talked, sang, ran the camera, recorded and edited the sound track, rerecorded, produced, and edited our cassette tapes and CDs as well as wrote articles and books.
Spiritually, I was given the blessing and initiation into the performance of ceremonies and rituals at my own altar through the blessing by Charlie Kills Enemy (he said he was instructed to do this) in acknowledgement of a healing lineage within my paternal family. So, at a thank you ceremony on my behalf performed by Charlie in Denver in 1979, the relationship with my altar and my spirit friends was firmly established. I was asked by James DuBray at the Fools Crow Sun Dance in 1983 to help him with healing and dealing with the Heyoka people in the center of the circle at the sun dance. In 1988, I was presented pipes by Albert White Hat and Duane Hollow Horn Bear to help them with their sun dance which I have done until this coming summer of 2006. In this summer, I have been asked by Homer White Lance to conduct his sun dance 9-16 July 2006 near St. Francis, SD, and I intend to run my own sun dance in Red Rock, AZ on 4-11 June 2006.
I am a fourth generation singer in my family, and have been that all of my life. I am a lover and not a warrior.
I have been a singer, a composer of sun dance songs, an announcer, a ritualist, healer and intercessor at many different sun dances since 1977. I have seen its revival and its evolution since 1966. I recently had a vision in which all of the medicine people I have encountered in my life were in an Inipi with me and they all told me to finish this dance. What this meant to me was that we must begin and finish this part of the sun dance which is to bring people to peace. The revival of the sun dance was meant to wake the Lakota people up to the path of peace by the humiliation of the warrior's ego. It seems we have done enough of that now, and it is time to do the other part of the dance which is to bring peace. That is the reason, with Ervin Keeswood's blessing and honoring of me, we are beginning and we will finish the High Star Sun Eagle International Sun Dance For Peace.
John D. Pruit, Treasurer and Director
Anglo Taos, New Mexico
Last October 27th I successfully matriculated into my 60th year as a resident of Denver, Colorado. Scratch my surface, however, and you will find a Taos boy lured temporarily, again, by the call of employment, away from Taos, this time to the Denver area. For the last 35 years I have made my living primarily as a petroleum geologist. Over that period I worked in Denver as a staff geologist and/or manager for several firms, as an independent oil operator and, for the last 19 years as a consulting geologist based, most of the time, in Taos. At the tail end of my consulting career, the work I currently do involves looking down the barrel of a microscope, in remote locations scattered throughout the western US and Canada, at tiny pieces of rock ground up by the drill bit and flushed up to the surface from depths up to 3 miles below the surface.
In 1986 Howard and I incorporated High Star Productions, Inc in Denver with the mission of providing Native American music, musicians and technicians greater exposure and access to the entertainment market than they previously had enjoyed. In that we have been modestly successful. I am the business manager for High Star and as such am responsible for all non audio and video functions. I also operate a small publishing company, Dog Soldier Press, founded in 1999, which has produced 2 titles to date, both on Native American subjects.
My involvement with sun dancing, which began in 1982 when I accompanied Howard to the 2nd year of the Big Mountain Sun Dance, includes 4 years as a dancer and many years as a helper and/or supporter. I am honored to be involved with Ervin and Howard in creating and supporting the High Star / Sun Eagle Sun Dance and the High Star / Sun Eagle International Foundation for Peace.
Karen Peregoy, Director and Secretary
Anglo Denver, CO
I first became involved in the Hollow Horn Bear Sun Dance on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota in 1998, attending for almost 10 years as a supporter of several dancers from Colorado. I attended the first High Star Sun Eagle Sun Dance in 2006 as a supporter and began my four year dance pledge in 2007. In 2009, Howard and the Board of Directors asked me to join the Board of Directors for the High Star Sun Eagle Foundation for Peace. I was both honored and delighted to accept and have been involved since then. I am very grateful to the Keeswood family in particular and the Navajo Nation for hosting the International Sun Dance for Peace in my favorite kind of country.
I have lived in Denver, Colorado since 1973 and have been in law enforcement as a police officer and investigator for about 35 years, currently working for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office in the Medicaid Fraud unit. Outside of work, I enjoy following a spiritual path called Diamond Heart, which I have found is both supported by and supports the principles of peace embodied by the High Star Sun Eagle International Sun Dance for Peace. I also enjoy reading, camping, animals and helping out with community theater.
This next summer (2010) will see the end of my four year dance commitment (at age 60), but not the end of my involvement with the Sun Dance. I am not yet sure if I will continue to dance or will support in other ways, but Sun Dance (and the people involved with it) have become an important part of my life. I hope to continue to be a part of this healing ceremony for peace for many years.
Earl Tulley, Director
Earl prefers anonymity in regards to his biographical information.
Sharon Englehart, Director
Anglo Mancos, CO
I am a native of Southwest Colorado. I have traveled extensively but have always been drawn back to the unique juxtaposition of the mountains and the desert of the Four Corners. I have an MA. Ed. and taught English and Art in Cortez, CO for 32 years. I am retired and with my partner, Doug Senteney, practice being a good steward of the planet through gardening, reading, art, travel, yoga and mindfulness.
My association with Sundance started when my husband, Chuck Durnin, who had been adopted by Allan Neskahi and who was involved with ceremony for many years under the guidance of Howard Bad Hand, danced at Hollow Horn Bear in South Dakota. I still remember walking though the camp and hearing all the different languages from all over the world. After Chuck passed away in 2004, our family has continued to be involved in ceremony as participants and supporters.
Ecuadorian & Anglo Santa Fe, NM
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids Michigan. I moved in 2007 to Washington D.C. to pursue a BFA in photography at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. After completing my BFA, I moved to Cambridge MA, and attend the College of Art and Design at Lesley University where I completed my MFA in Fine Art Photography in 2013. Currently I live and work in Santa Fe, NM. I have strong studio practices in my photography as well as am expanding my knowledge on permaculture and self-reliance. My introduction to Sundance started with my husband, James Durnin. He is sundancer and my other half. Together we discovered that ceremony and the family surrounding it is invaluable to our growth. We dance together in the arbor and hope to some day start a family around ceremony and the people who have entered our lives through ceremony. I am excited to serve on the board of directors and wish to put my skills and educational background to the service the High Star Sun Eagle Sundance for Peace.
Anglo Puyallup, WA
I am originally from Reno, NV. I most recently moved to Washington from Oklahoma City, OK where I was getting a Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology and a Master's Degree in Science Education. I currently teach middle school science in Graham, WA. In my free time you will find me traveling, being outdoors, reading, and snowboarding.
I attended my first Sundance in 2014. This year (2017) will be my fourth year dancing at the High Star Sun Eagle International Sundance for Peace. After my second year of dancing I was asked if I would be interested in being on the board for the Sundance and happily agreed. I am grateful for being allowed to be involved in this way of life, as it has helped me become a better human being. I look forward to continued participation in the Sundance, both on the board and dancing.
Diné Shiprock, NM
Married has 3 children and 3 grandchildren. I've been involved with High Star-Sun Eagle Sun Dance from the beginning, I was in charge of security for 10 yrs. 2017 will be my 3rd year of dancing.
Anglo Santa Fe, NM
I currently live and work in Santa Fe, NM. I grew up in the southwestern part of Colorado, near the Four Corners. Growing up in the southwest has given me the opportunity to recognize the intersectionality of cultures, histories, genders, identities, etc. that all of us share. This recognition of intersectionality has helped me on my path towards peace and the work I do as a public educator in Santa Fe. I have worked as a public educator for 7 years in charter schools and traditional high schools. I have also taught internationally. My relationship with ceremony began at a young age through our relationship with the Badhand, Neskahi, Manus, and Keeswood families. My father was a sundancer at Hollow Horn Bear and supported many of the sundances throughout the southwest. I often accompanied him as a young boy to the various ceremonies and sundances. He passed away in 2004. I first began my relationship with the sundance circle at Big Mountain, where I was a fireman for 5 years. I later pledged to dance at Red Valley in support of our mission for peace and healing. Peace starts with us as individuals living from the center of who we know ourselves to be on the deepest level. I encourage anyone seeking their own personal peace to come and join us, to find themselves, and to carry that peace out into the world.
Oklahoma City, OK
This year marks my twentieth time to dance (added to a few years of supporting).I began my dance at Hollow Horn Bear, and have continued at High Star Sun Eagle. I am thankful and grateful for every step. The Sundance family is one I hold dear, and I am honored to assist the board in any way I can.
I am a third generation Oklahoman. I have spent most of my professional career working as a Speech Language Pathologist for Oklahoma City Public Schools. I am currently the administrator for speech language services for the district.
I am blessed to be married to John Watson, whom I met at Sundance, and to have a son, Drew Bryant, who also dances.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I am originally from the UK and after living and working for 20 years in Denmark, I moved to live in Oklahoma to be with my wife, Vicki in 2010. I have a Master of Science in diagnostic imaging and I currently work in a not-for-profit Catholic Hospital in Oklahoma City.
I attended my first Sundance at Hollow Horn Bear in 1996 and I continued to support there for a number years before dancing at High Star Sun Eagle Sundance starting first in 2007.
There are often serendipitous stories of how people find their Sundance family and mine is no exception. I was encouraged and prepared for my first dance at High Star Sun Eagle by my uncle, Hakikta Najin Jordan, an Oglala Lakota who was then living in Denmark. I am honored to be able to Dance for Peace with my Family in his memory.
Together with my wife Vicki, I was asked to help by serving on the committee and I hope we can help in any way we can, while continuing to dance our prayers.
Photograph & biographic note pending
Photograph & biographic note pending
Photograph & biographic note pending
Photograph & biographic note pending
James H. Dumesnil MS, LPCMHC
James Dumesnil is currently in private practice in Taos, NM. He is a former president of the California Mental Health Counselor’s Association, and a former president of the National Association of Forensic Counselor’s of California. He served as Vice President of the board of directors of the Center for Attachment Therapy, Training and Education for over a decade in Northern California. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors of The High Star Sun Eagle International Foundation for Peace. Previously, he served as the Clinical Director of Families By Design.
Since completing graduate school in Applied Developmental Psychology three decades ago, James Dumesnil has successfully intervened with birth, adoptive and foster families. He was the Founder and Program Director of a community response program, which interfaced law enforcement, juvenile probation, mental health and social services. It established an emergency response team, utilizing therapeutic respite care to provide emergency placements, triage, assessment, crisis-stabilization and reunification services for high-risk families in Sacramento, CA.
He was initially introduced to traditional ceremonies beginning in 1990. Subsequently, he entered a formal course of study w Howard Bad Hand on the use of the Taoist text, the “I Ching,” combined with Native Spiritual practices in the development of Character Formation.
He has supported and participated in Sundance ceremonies since 1992 beginning w/ Chief Solomon on the Dakota Sioux Reserve in Manitoba, Canada. He joined with the Hollow Horn Bear Sundance on the Rosebud reservation in the mid 90s. For the last decade and a half, he has been able to support and participate w/ High Star Sun Eagle since the inception of the International Sundance for Peace in 2006 at Red Valley, AZ.
In a textbook on new Juvenile Justice Systems, James Dumesnil published a chapter on Restorative Justice, which looked at First Nations utilization of Therapeutic Indigenous Jurisprudence and traditional ceremonies to help families, communities and individuals heal from the far-reaching consequences of forced boarding schools on Native Peoples in North America. Additionally, he has published research in the Treatment of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of Early Childhood Origin (Developmental Trauma Disorder), and in the area of Facilitating Family and Group Therapy dynamics.
Under Howard Bad Hand’s tutelage he has continued to endeavor to integrate Taoist and Lakota teachings into his work and life with Jungian Psychotherapy.