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Johnny Depp made honorary member of Comanche tribe

This photo provided by Americans for Indian Opportunity shows LaDonna Harris, left, president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, poses with actor Johnny Depp at her Albuquerque, N.M., home on May 16, 2012. Harris invited Depp to become an adopted member of the Comanche Indian tribe in a private ceremony. Depp is currently filming the role of Tonto in
LaDonna Harris, left, president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, poses with actor Johnny Depp at her Albuquerque, N.M., home on May 16, 2012.
AP/Americans for Indian Opportunity

(CBS/AP) ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico - Johnny Depp is now an honorary member of the Comanche tribe.

Comanche Nation tribal member LaDonna Harris said Tuesday that the tribal chairman presented Depp with a proclamation at her Albuquerque home on May 16. She said the Comanche adoption tradition means she now considers Depp her son.

Pictures: Johnny Depp

Harris said Depp seemed humbled.

The "Dark Shadows" actor is in New Mexico shooting the film adaptation of "The Lone Ranger." He plays "Ranger" Native American sidekick Tonto in the film.

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.

Harris said she reached out to Depp through a friend who is working as a cultural adviser on the "Lone Ranger" set.

The Comanche Nation is based in Lawton, Okla. About half of its 15,000 members live in southwestern Oklahoma.

Depp, 48, has been the topic of much discussion in Indian Country and online since he was cast as Tonto, with comments ranging from his costume, to the selection of a non-Native for the part, to how the role itself has historically epitomized Hollywood's misrepresentation of Native culture.