Actor Johnny Depp, who will play Tonto in the upcoming film version of The Lone Ranger, has been adopted by the Comanche Nation.

The character of Tonto, in this latest telling of the story, is said to be Comanche—a bit of information that LaDonna Harris, an esteemed Comanche who is president and founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), found very interesting. “Johnny is reprising the historic role of Tonto, and it seemed like a natural fit to officially welcome him into our Comanche family,” Harris said, according to a release. “I reached out, and Johnny was very receptive to the idea. He seemed proud to receive the invitation, and we were honored that he so enthusiastically agreed.”

The traditional ceremony took place on May 16 at Harris’s home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Comanche Nation Chairman Johnny Wauqua was on hand, as were AIO’s staff and close family members. At the end of the ceremony, in accordance with tradition, Depp gave gifts to the attendees as a sign of gratitude.

“Welcoming Johnny into the family in the traditional way was so fitting,” Harris said. “He’s a very thoughtful human being, and throughout his life and career, he has exhibited traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share.”

The Lone Ranger, which is currently filming, is being directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and is set for a May 31, 2013 release. The Depp-Verbinski-Bruckheimer team previously collaborated on three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.


From left: Honorable Johnny Wauqua, Comanche Nation Chairman; LaDonna Harris, President of Americans for Indian Opportunity; and actor Johnny Depp. Photo by Celli Crawford

Responses to "Johnny Depp Adopted Into Comanche Nation"

  1. Unknown says:

    That sucks, I wanted him and now he is my cuzin??? Gross! Way to ruin my future relationship!!! JKS :)

  2. Unknown says:

    Hey Im an actor, how do I get a part in that movie???

  3. Anonymous says:

    ha! WE got Depp!

  4. Joy says:

    What a beautiful being

  5. Anonymous says:

    I cannot wait to see this movie the Lone Ranger was something I had to opportunity to watch as a child.

  6. Anonymous says:

    awww, wishing i was part in the movie with johnny depp, that will be the highlight of my day and to be surround by the indians whom i love!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what clan he belongs to???

  8. Anonymous says:

    lol @jamilafey's comment...i know right?

  9. I'm not Depp, but I'm game for an invite :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy for Johnny to be adoptive by the Nations People! He is one of the rare actors that has been supportive of Indian Rights.

    I too, would like to know how to be adopted. Since I was walking, all I ever wanted to be was a Native American. I had an aunt that lived in Arizona next to a reservation. She would send me hand made jewelry & photos of them all the time. When I traveled to the Rockies & out West. I spent a long time with an old Native who sold beautiful Indian only made jewelry & he told me I had the soul of a Nation's People. Wish I would have thought to ask him to adopt me! He has now, long since passed & do miss his wisdom.

  11. tania threefingers says:

    thats cool we converted a white man..lmao..jus kiddin..in reality its nice to see an actor really get involved in the part and research the native ways so diligently..on that note hooray..cant wait to see his version of tonto..go johnny go.

  12. So....the team that brought us Pirates of the Caribbean...a tongue in cheek spoof comedy, good as it was of it's genre, but which hardly demanded much of Depp's talents or the audiences concentration....are believed to be making a 'thought provoking' and 'honest Indian point of reference' remake of a classic American propaganda 'anti indian' machine of it's time that was the Lone Ranger?
    "yes kimosabe...uggh...you the boss sir"....

    This will end Depp's career and create more mistrust. Why remake something fictional and condescending as this trash was...when there are enough Indian film makers out there to give the money and the resources to and they have plenty of real stories to tell about the past and present from an Indian perspective that will educate, inform and frighten the life out of the US Government. All this well intentioned trash will do is perpetuate the big white lie. I wait to be shot down in flames so roll on 2013...Hi ho Silver...awaaay!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Will they include the old joke ? "Tonto! " "yes Kimosabi [translates to 'horses ass'"]. No disrespect intended. lmao

  14. Marlene says:

    Well thats nice he can be adopted into the Comanche family, but I cant get my own kids enrolled in White Earth because they are 2 degrees under 1/4 blood quantum. Love the way the enrollment system works. Congrats Johnny.

  15. Anonymous says:

    He has cherokee heritage as well.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This makes me more inclined to see the movie now. I'm sure Depp's authenticity will shine through, regardless of the all too often lack of vision of scriptwriters, directors, etc.

  17. Jenny says:

    Love Johnny Depp. One if my favorite actors and wish our Nation would have thought of this !

  18. Anonymous says:

    C'est superbe !!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    its all well and good but im native heritage and my own tribes wont take me at all,and the blood quantum is a white thing not native.

  20. Anonymous says:

    He was adopted because he is is an amazing human being , trully conected with the creator and nature...He is free spirit...and that freedom will lead him to anywhere he wants and should go....Gongartulations Comanche nation and Johny Deep...

  21. Anonymous says:

    The Seminoles never surrendered.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he will fight for the wolves now

  23. Anonymous says:

    Love him!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I love him too! Always have. Always will.

  25. Anonymous says:

    blah blah blah BLAH BLAH MA'F*CKEN BLAH..............

  26. I am also an adoptee Lakota though I'm a white from Germany. We can only hope that Johnny Depp has the spirit of an Indian! And Hope his Indian father teach him the old traditions and songs! I be my Indian father (a shaman) very grateful that he taught me the correct handling of the ancestral and spirits. And for he taught me that it is important at the present time to make peace between the peoples of the world. We are all related and children of Mother Earth and Father Sun!
    Maybe Johnny Depp manages to open the eyes of the white population to the problems in the reservations of the tribes. Many tribes living in extreme poverty, are addicted to alcohol and robbed of their land. It's time to regain their honor and pride stems and can live in harmony with nature. Wherever and however they want.
    That I wish for all my brothers and pray in sweat lodges regularly and when I smoke my prayerpipe.
    Oyate Ojasin - for all my relatives

  27. Anonymous says:

    Johnny is such a humanitarian, He is always doing something that is productive and good for people of all walks. Kudos to Johnny and great gratitude for all you do!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I think it is nice that the comanche nation has allowed the adopting of white men into our folds, but I am concerned that there are others that share the blood of the comanche and cannot even register within the tribe. I can trace my heritage to know what band I belong to but still am not acknowledged as a comanche. I taught my son and my grandaughter the history of the comanche, but what are they really hearing when a comanche can not be adopted?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting, especially the comments. Just think,of the percentage system as a European way of determining "auhentic" or blood line "purity" for peoples who previously defined their heredity as who one lived with. To adopt this system of blood purity is exactly how a people is reduced by the limited genetic pool. The tribal member roles originally included those of mixed members who were born of two tribes or groups. Now, must the members be limited to a single group "in name" in order to keep their offspring legitimately on the role? It doesn't take much thought to see how these systems adopted from the whites run counter to the system of the original Native neighborhoods. Tonto is a special blend of Apache, BTW.

    member ledger roles

  30. Anonymous says:

    As white woman married with a Comanche man, am I also a part of the Comanche nation then?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Sorry folks, but Depp is one of ours. You can borrow him, but eventually he has to come home to Tahlequah. :)

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thankyou for sharing this video and I would like these guys to know that they have made a very special friend, and a friend who won't forget!

  33. pirate girl says:

    UGH!! johnny is native through his mother...he is enrolled through the dawes cherokee roles. there are some really stupid ppl on here. it grosses me out to think of germans and other non-native ppls using our ceromonies...smoking the canupa, using sweat lodges. there is a place in germany where they have a "sun dance" every year...who taught them this? i have to wonder if they do it in a sacred manner, or of somethimg they read in a book. jeez, i'm sorry to sound like a hater. but why can't they stick to their own religions and ways? if they want to play native, send money to pine ridge and all the other nations who have hungry children and elders, send money for a proper education, and housing, etc. there are many tribes without resources to make money off of.

    i think some of the wealthier tribes should help out too.

    we have diabetes running rampant...children are dying, elders are on dialysis and dying. we need a lot help!! put your money where your mouths are, it's as easy as that.

    hoka hey!
    pisko (nighthawk)

  34. Babo says:

    @ pisco,
    That's telling them. Our worlds are so diverse that the word minority can be applied to just about anyone who specifies a national origin. In the country we all reside, live groups whose ancient origins on these continents are seldom mentioned in the mass media by the descendants of migrants who more recently occupied these lands. Those brought here unwillingly to assist in building of an economic substructure and, eventually, a nation, share in those Native's anonymity for the accomplishments of civilization. Still, no other cultural groups share in so much omission of their hisorical significance when it comes to having a media presence in a world dependant upon it for information. So much for minority whining for sit-com presence.

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