Dan Jones: Comanche Nation declares Johnny Depp to be Indian
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012
"Of all the sovereign authority tribes once held, the least compromised by Congress is the tribe’s ability to determine who is a member of the tribe or who is an Indian. The US census of 2010 determined there were some 3 million American Indians belonging to tribes, a number that can easily be disputed. Not all American Indians care if they are counted. There’s a tribe in Florida that has never been recognized by the United States for one reason: They won’t hand over their rolls to the government. They don’t believe the enemy should know how many of them there are. To this day, they prefer to be a non-federally recognized tribe of Indians, though they still make and hand out tribal identification cards to its members, something all tribes do.
Which brings us to this recent hot-button topic: What’s wrong with Johnny Depp playing an Indian? Nothing now, because he is an American Indian. If the Comanche say it, then it is so. He has received some expert advice on Indians from none other than the political and cultural genius of LaDonna Harris. No one can argue with the fact a tribe has the right to determine who is an Indian. If the Comanche Nation wishes to adopt a space alien, it would not be in any tribe’s interest to criticize. Another tribe would only be limiting their own authority to do the same. From some of his statements, I don’t think Depp really knows enough about us to have come up with this brilliant way of eliminating all the questions about his being Indian. Again I take my hat off to Harris and the Comanche Nation for walking into the middle of what could have been a nasty long-term debate and putting an end to it. Johnny Depp is an Indian."
Get the Story:
Who’s an Indian? Johnny Depp
(Indian Country Today 5/25)
Comanche Nation family welcomes Johnny Depp into
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