Americans for Indian Opportunity


May 21, 2012
Johnny Depp Adopted into Comanche Nation, Honors His Native Heritage

 ALBUQUERQUE, MAY 21, 2012 — In The Lone Ranger, currently in production, Johnny Depp plays the role of Tonto, a Comanche Indian. On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, during a traditional ceremony, Depp was adopted into the Comanche Nation.

The private ceremony, during which Depp was given a Comanche name, took place at the Albuquerque, NM home of LaDonna Harris (Comanche), president and founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO). When Harris learned that Depp was playing a Comanche Indian in The Lone Ranger, she recognized an opportunity to help him build a stronger connection with his own Native American heritage.

“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. “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 Comanche Nation Chairman, Johnny Wauqua, as well as AIO’s staff and closest family attended the traditional ceremony.

The ceremony ended with a traditional giveaway, with Depp giving gifts to those in attendance to thank them for witnessing and participating in the special occasion.

“Welcoming Johnny into the family in the traditional way was so fitting. 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,” Harris said.

Historically, Comanches took captives. In a modern twist, Depp’s adoption into Harris’ maternal Tabbytite family means that he is now considered a Comanche.

Americans for Indian Opportunity :: :: 505.842.8677 :: 505.842.8658 fax : 1001 Marquette Avenue, NW; Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
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