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Exhibition Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

John Isaiah Pepion (born 1983). Winona LaDuke & Faith Spotted Eagle Make a Stand, 2014. Oil-based color pencil and ink on ledger paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. © John Isaiah Pepion, used by permission (017.01.00)

Environmental Activism

John Isaiah Pepion’s drawing, made on an 1897 tax ledger sheet, depicts activists Winona LaDuke and Faith Spotted Eagle holding signs that say “Honor the Earth” (also the name of the native-led non-profit organization co-founded by LaDuke) and “Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.” Pepion, a member of Montana’s Blackfeet Nation, carries forward the storytelling tradition of ledger art developed by Plains Indian artists in the nineteenth century. He combines contemporary subject matter with the turn-of-the-century practice that evolved in which pages from U.S. government accounting or ledger books were used for drawing paper.