The Honourable James Bartleman R.I.P.

Written by  //  August 14, 2023  //  Canada  //  Comments Off on The Honourable James Bartleman R.I.P.

The Honourable James Bartleman OC OOnt
(24 December 1939 – 14 August 2023)

Former Ontario Lt.-Gov. James Bartleman, a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, and an advocate for Indigenous people, served as a diplomat for more than 30 years. His postings included ambassador to Cuba, ambassador to Israel, ambassador to the North Atlantic Council of NATO; then High Commissioner to South Africa followed by Australia. Finally, he was transferred back to Europe to serve as Head of Mission to the European Union from 2000 to 2002 [where he was succeeded by Jeremy Kinsman], before serving as the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2002-2007).

During his mandate as Lieutenant Governor, he sought to:
Reduce the stigma of mental illness;
Fight racism and discrimination;
Promote literacy among First Nations children.
To these ends, he initiated the Lieutenant Governor’s Book Program in 2004. He has collected over 1.2 million books, donated from all corners of the province from both institutions and individuals, to stock school libraries in First Nations communities, particularly in Northern Ontario. In 2005, to further promote literacy and bridge building, Bartleman initiated a program to pair up Native and non-Native schools in Ontario and Nunavut, and set-up summer camps for literacy development in five northern First Nations communities.

Bartleman published several works of non-fiction, both before and during his viceregal term. These included the childhood memoirs Out of Muskoka (2002) and Raisin Wine: A Boyhood in a Different Muskoka (2007), and the professional career memoirs On Six Continents (2004) and Rollercoaster: My Hectic Years as Jean Chrétien’s Diplomatic Advisor (2005).
Following the end of his viceregal term, Bartleman has also published a trilogy of social justice novels, As Long as the Rivers Flow (2011), The Redemption of Oscar Wolf (2013) and Exceptional Circumstances (2015). As Long as the Rivers Flow was a finalist for the 2013 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

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