What is that Native American guy in a mental institute a reference to?

In at least 3 different shows or movies I’ve seen, there’s specifically been a Native American person in a mental institute named “Chief” who has a disorder where he doesn’t say anything. What is that a reference to?

It’s a reference to the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073486/

Oh ok, thanks for answering it.