Johnny Depp Adopted Into Comanche Nation
Indian Country Today
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.