Native American Eyes
& Faithful Indian Companions

Sheesh. I don't know which is worse -- the crude, racial stereotyping of times past, or the more recent adding of a dollop of native blood to assorted gumshoes to lend them some sort of well-intentioned but patronizing cred.

Which makes it all the more inspiring when they care enough to get it right...


Native American Eyes

Faithful Indian Companions

You can blame it all on Tonto, but the "faithful Indian companion" is a mainstay of American literature, for better or (often) worse, stretching back at least to Chingcachgook in James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales.

One of private detective Jeremiah St. John's two partners.

  • Jimmy Sisiwan by Betty Webb (Pima)
Lena Jones

The partner of private eye .

  • Willie Prettybird by Richrd Hoyt (Cowlitz)

Also known as "Willie Sees the Night," this Cowlitz shaman first appears in Fish Story (1985), the fourth in the John Denson private eye series, and later becomes his assistant.

  • Sara Morningsky by Lee Driver (a "Native American" shape-shifter)

Assistant to private eye Chase Dagger

  • Zebulon Sixkill by Robert B. Parker (Cree)
Sixkill

Parker introduced Zebulon in his Spenser final novel, (2011), and the former college-football star becomes his "apprentice" in the subsequent novels by Ace Atkins

RELATED LINKS

An impressive chronological checklist, compiled by Steve Lewis, from Mystery*File.

Preliminary list compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.


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