Jim is a powerfully built Native American from the Han Indian tribe. He earned the nickname Skookum – meaning strength – for his ability to shoulder heavy loads over the mountain passes that guard the Klondike. Jim was the first man to discover gold in the Klondike but he doesn’t place much store in wealth or its trappings. He carries a burden of suppressed grief with him since the death of his wife, Marie. Jim’s life lacks direction, he feels that the Native Indian way of life is dying but he does not feel like he fully belongs in the ‘White Man’ world either. Jim is the best hunter and trapper on the Yukon; he finds moments of peace tracking rabbit or deer in the forests surrounding Dominion Creek. He throws his lot in with the Connollys when they arrive in town and becomes an important ally to them.