The $3.9 million price tag on the site of the Wounded Knee massacre is steep -- but a fraction of Johnny Depp's paycheck from The Lone Ranger.

 A couple of news stories broke yesterday that commanded the attention of Indian country, and specifically the Oglala Sioux Tribe, to whom Wounded Knee is sacred ground. First was the revelation that Depp would like to buy the land and return it to the tribe. When contacted, Wounded Knee's owner said that he is eager to sell to Depp. "Johnny Depp has a lot of money," Czywczynski told ICTMN. "He could probably raise this money in a heartbeat." Tribal president Bryan Brewer also expressed enthusiasm, saying that "the possibility of his goodwill effort toward keeping this land intact and in tribal hands is amazing."

Neither party has heard from Depp yet, but an online petition at directed at Depp and his agent seeks to push the actor to make good on his statements. Referencing Native peoples' history of disappointment at empty promises, the petition reads as follows:

"Keep your word. Promises to indigenous people are frequently made and broken. You promised to buy Wounded Knee and give it to the Sioux Nation. The owners want to sell. Keep your word. Buy Wounded Knee and gift it freely to the Sioux Nation."

According to, Johnny Depp makes in excess of $20 million per film. While making The Lone Ranger, Depp curried favor with both the Navajo Nation (where much of the movie was shot) and the Comanche Nation (Tonto's tribe, in this version of the story). Will the Oglala Sioux Tribe be next?

Responses to "Native Americans to Johnny Depp: 'Keep Your Word, Buy Wounded Knee'"

  1. Unknown says:

    I know you are a man of your word Johnny. I believe you. I know you are making sure there is no loop hole which could come back against the Oglala Sioux Tribe. I hope this starts a trend of wealthy American's to follow your lead and purchase land stolen from the indiginous tribes of N America with the full intent and follow through to return it to them.
    Sincerly and with gratitude for your vision,
    Kevin "Whalebone" Vaughn

  2. Unknown says:

    If he actually said he will buy it and give it back to the people then that is all fine and well. If he doesn't then it's just another broken promise :'(

  3. Anonymous says:

    This human is trying to do an act of kindness, please leave him be.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think this has to be a gift from the heart, it should not be forced by anyone. Let it happen on it's own.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think Johnny Depp is aman of his word , he'll keep it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Please JD buy Wounded Knee and give it back to the Oglala Sioux Nation! Make us proud!

  7. Joyce ONeill says:

    Why the petition? Why not give the guy a chance to respond? Seems like overkill to me. I think he's honorable, but did he REALLY say that? And yeah, like Kevin Vaughn says above, he needs time to make sure it all goes well. He's an actor, not a lawyer, and lawyers take time to do the research and dot the i's, etc. So, it's not going to happen overnight. I do think the petition was a bit over the top so soon. Would you push anyone else so hard or so fast? He's human, we all are, no matter what we do for a living, or how much money we have, or have not. Treat him like a brother, you might get further. Love works when hostility doesn't. You want him on your side? Or just want someone to buy the land and hand it over? HE will think about who he's dealing with. Don't come off as hostile or ungrateful. Make this a win-win. Those are the only situations worth fighting for. Live the Red Road, my relatives. Don't act like the whites do. That's beneath you.

  8. Marjorie AmericanHorse says:

    I never thaught, that Johnny would part take in this business..of buying the Wounded Knee Memorial..I always figured it could be Angelina Joli or Jane Fonda..I so do hope he could pull this off, Couse, I know, there is alot of Native people out there, that will appriciate what he did, and go down in history..honorable..but, if he should change his mind as he is entitled will be his choice..

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this being a gift from the heart, do not pressure him...if it is to be it will......

  10. Anonymous says:

    This one tiny act cannot make all wrongs right, but it will go a very long way to help heal the wounds that continue to divide this continent. Good Luck Mr. Depp. I hope your purchase goes well.

    A Fan

  11. Unknown says:

    I believe the petition is a bit overkill. It is something he has thought of doing out of his own good conscience. This doesn't mean he has to. Or even that he is a bad person if he decides not to. However, I did sign. No pressure or anything. :0)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Nicely said....& soooo true.

  13. Unknown says:


  14. Anonymous says:

    If I was Johnny Depp and saw a petition actually demanding me to perform a task then I would say screw you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    "If I was Johnny Depp and saw a petition actually demanding me to perform a task then I would say screw you."

    I agree with this. Without giving Mr. Depp a chance to do it or not do it, you've started a petition to force his hand. I wouldn't blame him if he now DIDN'T do it. Or, because he said he would, do it and then never have another thing to do with the native peoples ever again.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I'd be glad to donate to such a cause and I'd bet a lot of others would also. I don't have a lot of money but this is a good cause.

  17. D Nixon says:

    If Johnny Depp said he would do it, then yes I think he should, especially given the historical significance. However,with all the bad press he's received, including a lot from Oklahoma Indian publications, one could possibly understand if he were to have second thoughts.

    My question is, why are the Indian tribes of North America not coming together?

  18. Unknown says:

    I don't understand why the natives can't raise 3.7 million dollars, they don't get money from the fed government every year.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Joyce ONeill says:
    "Don't act like the whites do. That's beneath you."

    Ignorant racism, regardless of whom it is aimed at should be beneath ALL of us, and that statement is blatantly racist.

    The color of our skin makes us no better and no worse than others. It is only by our actions that we define ourselves.

    My son is half white and half native... does this make him "half" honorable and half whatever it is you think white people are?

    As the HUMAN race we need to stand against all racism... period.

  20. Unknown says:

    Everything and everyone has a purpose, this may or may not be his in this life, to right a wrong that was done, all things happen the way they should.

    "We are merely leaves in the river of life, we float until we reach the end, the sea of eternity." - Aaron C. Taylor

  21. Anonymous says:

    I am Norht Americain from So called canada our home and Aboriginal Land ,Ayi gthi sm ani sg oing ton is going to spend money on this land for Aboriginal people ,Well he's showing he care's and has respect fer our people But also he should be payed back a little at a time ,I'd like to thank this man in person and shake his hand .....

  22. Anonymous says:

    He was planning on it, then he took an arrow to the knee.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps he took a Lone Ranger to the knee.

  24. Anonymous says:

    We will wait and see if Depp follows through. That is to be seen. But what disturbs me most, is Mr. Czywczynski, who is ENTHUSED about Depp buying the land and Mr. C. who wants $$$ for land that was not rightfully his nor his family EVER in the first place. The land was stolen and taken without thought to who the living inhabitants were for centuries. WHO may I ask gave them, the descendents of Mr Czywczynski, to take in the first place. Now he and his descendents have a chance to make things right for his family by giving back the land to the Oglala or give it at a much more fair price if anything to allow our brothers and sister of the Oglala nation peace at last. Again as for Depp, time will tell a lot. OhitikaWin

  25. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is pushing him. All of the people on this page. Johnny, when someone tells others how to act to get something out of you and then ends their say with " Don't act like the whites do. That's beneath you." What does this woman think that you are? Everybody is a back slapper when they are getting what they want. Don't buy wounded knee, you will quickly see how *your people* love you. They don't even know you! If you can't tell that you are being used at least listen to your pricey lawyers who will see this clearly. I too want to know why all tribes don't come together and raise that money. They could have done that years ago. If they are all as one, all relatives, then that's their word on how they feel about other tribes too, am i correct? If I am, then they could buy it. I am native myself. But I also am french and irish, i am not welcome because i am mixed. can't you see that it is the money? I don't want to see you used. I've watched you way too long to know that you are a great guy. Not buying this land will make you a bad person. If u want to help, why not help them initiate a fundraising will all tribes, then you can donate some but they could also raise money. Personally I feel you are being used. You are one person. There are lots of rich people who could have bought it by now. Why haven't they? Take your kids, go to your island, and just think as you relax. it will come to you.

  26. Anonymous says:

    And after reading Don't act like the whites do. That's beneath you. and other sentences meaning the same thing, how can you, in good conscious, do this? Racism.. And we half or quarter breeds mean nothing to them.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the indians are try trying to bully him watch this shit is taken out of context and some dude is hard up to try to black mail so he can get paid for nothing cause there basicly just saying give us 4 mill personally I really don't care how this goes but them indians need to learn some manners eithrr way

  28. Anonymous says:

    Johnny I know you are a man of your word and that you will do what you say don't let are people down they have been lied to long enough

  29. Anonymous says:

    John took my money and he should keep my promise. No petition can do that! If he´ll do it I´d apreciate he´ll do it in my name.C.

  30. Anonymous says:

    If JD said this then he will do it. If he didn't say this, or it was taken out of context then you should apologize to him for this embarrassment.

  31. Anonymous says:

    That seems to have escalated quickly. I would not really know, but judging just by this article it seems like he did not promise anything to begin with and now he is being held accountable for something that he never promised? But if he did indeed say that, he'd have to keep his word.

  32. Unknown says:

    I am a hundred percent for this sacred land being returned to its rightful peoples, & I think if Johnny Depp actually made that promise, then he will go through with it, but things like this don't just happen overnight, so please be patient & allow this goodwill gesture to follow through at the right time, without trying to force Johnny Depp's hand. Signing a petition like this, is far more likely to alienate Johnny Depp, & a good many others as well. If he did not make any such promise, then signing this petition is like trying to force a person to do something, just because he has the money to do it. There are a million very worthy causes to donate money to around the world, so if Johnny Depp has said he will be a part of this good cause, then all kudos to him, but I will not sign a petition to force his hand, even though I would love to see this land restored to the Sioux Nation. I am not American, but I would love to see justice done, yet not by blackmailing someone.

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