Jim Chee

Encyclopedia Article


A fictional main character in Toni Hillerman's Navajo mystery novel series. Jim Chee is one of two protagonists, both Navajo Tribal Police officers, invented by Hillerman. The surname Chee is a common Navajo name, and comes from the Navajo "Chii," meaning "red." Jim Chee makes his first appearance in the fourth novel in the series, People of Darkness. Unlike the other detective, Joe Leaphorn, who is more worldly, detached, and skeptical, Chee is deeply connected to his community on the eastern side of the Navajo reservation (also known as the Checkerboard Reservation). He is a firm believer in Native American tradition, and is studying to be a traditional Navajo healer.

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