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Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Actor Johnny Depp, who plays Tonto in the recently released movie “The Lone Ranger,” plans to buy land at the site of the Wounded Knee massacre in South Dakota and give it back to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, a tribal official said Wednesday.

“He would like to make that offer if we’re willing,”  President Bryan Brewer said. "This is a great thing that is happening.”

Brewer said he got a call Wednesday from a representative for Depp, who is in England, telling him the actor wanted to make an offer on a 40-acre piece of the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Land owner James Czywczynski has said he wants $4.9 million for the land, where soldiers from the Seventh Cavalry killed 300 Lakota men, women and children in 1890.

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Brewer said the tribe’s leaders must decide whether they want Depp to make the offer, considering it means paying far more for the land than they say it's worth. The land has been appraised at less than $14,000.

“We just hate to see that guy get rich off us,” he said.

Tribal leaders and Depp’s representatives plan to discuss the offer in the coming days.

Reach Kevin Abourezk at 402-473-7225 or kabourezk@journalstar.com.

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I'm a Journal Star night editor and father of five.

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