By Stacy Thacker, University of Montana
Last week Johnny Depp became a member of the Comanche tribe based on his character "Tonto," in his newest movie "The Lone Ranger." While he has claimed to be part Native American for years he is now officially a Comanche.
I can't argue that it would be cool to say you were the same tribe as Johnny Depp but I can't seem to figure out what the purpose was for this.
Does that mean he can now apply for tribal scholarships? Can he list this on job applications and get jobs that have Native preference? (Not that he would need to of course.)
Whatever the case I guess it’s not that important but I still don't know the purpose. There have been plenty of people who have played Natives and they weren't adopted into tribes … maybe they did such a bad job that they were shunned instead of welcomed.
While I love Johnny Depp and think that everything he has done with Tim Burton is pure magic I can't help but think that maybe this role is being taken a little too seriously.
However if you decide to adopt a celebrity into your tribe, Johnny Depp is a good choice. Thank goodness Burt Reynolds wasn't adopted into the Navajo Tribe for "Navajo Joe."
Congrats Johnny Depp, you will be recognized without question as a Native of the Comanche Nation even if you don't have the blood quantum.
Stacy Thacker (Navajo) is from Navajo, N.M.