Johnny Depp wants to buy Wounded Knee and give it back to Native Americans

Johnny Depp at The World Premiere of Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ 'The Lone Ranger' at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, United States.

Johnny Depp has been inspired by his Native American roots both in his new role as Tonto in The Lone Ranger and in his personal life. After finding out that a piece of land in South Dakota known as Wounded Knee has been put on the market for $3.9 million with local Native Americans unable to afford it, Johnny wants to purchase the land with his own funds.

The site, the scene of an 1890 massacre, holds historical value for the Native American community but was unfortunately seized by the government and now, they are at risk of losing the land forever — unless Johnny moves forward with the purchase.

“It’s very sacred ground and many atrocities were committed against the Sioux there,” Johnny explains in a new interview. “And in the 1970s there was a stand-off between the Feds (Federal government) and the people who should own that land. This historical land is so important to the Sioux culture and all I want to do is buy it and give it back. Why doesn’t the government do that?”

Johnny Depp as Tonto from The Lone Ranger

^ Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger.

While Johnny doesn’t seem to have taken any legal steps to obtain the land quite yet, he claims that he’s on his way to making the purchase and once he does, he will return the land back to the Native Americans. “I am doing my best to make that happen,” he explains. “It’s land they were pushed on to and then they were massacred there. It really saddens me.”

As for his background, Johnny isn’t quite sure exactly what he is or how much, but for him, that doesn’t matter. “I was told at a very young age that I have some Indian blood – God knows how much, but it’s there. It’s part of me,” Johnny reveals. “We were told that we were of Cherokee descent, but it’s possible it could have been Creek Indian.”

“My great-grandmother on my mum’s side, Mae Sloan, had quite the look – the braids, the whole thing,” he continues, “And she was a wonderful, beautiful woman. She lived until she was 102 and she chewed tobacco till the day she died.”

Top Photo: Nikki Nelson/

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