For his role in the upcoming film, The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp has been made an honorary member of the Comanche Tribe. Depp will play Tonto in the film.
On May 16, 2012 the Comanche Nation tribal chairman presented Depp with a proclamation in Albuquerque on the set of the film.
The Comanche Nation is based in Lawton, Okla. About half of its 15,000 members live in southwestern Oklahoma.
The photos of Johnny Depp as Tonto has stirred controversy in Indian Country.
From the Associated Press:
Comanche Nation tribal member LaDonna Harris said Tuesday that the tribal chairman presented Depp with a proclamation at her Albuquerque home May 16. She said the Comanche adoption tradition means she now considers Depp her son.
Harris said Depp seemed humbled.
His spokeswoman, Jayne Ngo, confirmed the actor participated in a ceremony, but she declined to provide details.
Harris said she had read in interviews that Depp identified himself as being part Native American, so she thought it would be fun to adopt him—a tradition she says is common in Comanche culture. She ran the idea past her adult children, and they agreed.