27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
March 7, 2002 to September 5, 2007
Born on December 24, 1939 in Orillia, James Bartleman grew up in the Muskoka town of Port Carling, and is a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Mr. Bartleman earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from the University of Western Ontario in 1963. On a posting to Brussels, he met Marie-Jeanne Rosillon. The couple married in 1975 and have three children: Anne-Pascale, Laurent, and Alain.
Upon his installation as Lieutenant Governor in March 2002, Mr. Bartleman became a member of the Order of Ontario. He was promoted to Knight of Justice in the Order of St John in 2002, and received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for public service in 1999. He received the Dr. Hugh Lefave Award (2003) and the Courage to Come Back Award (2004) for his efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
Mr. Bartleman identified three key priorities during his mandate as Lieutenant Governor: to eliminate the stigma of mental illness, to fight racism and discrimination, and to encourage Indigenous young people. In 2004 he launched the first Lieutenant Governor’s Book Drive, which collected 1.2 million good used books for First Nations schools and Native Friendship Centres throughout Ontario. To further encourage literacy and bridge building, he launched in 2005 a twinning program for Native and non-Native schools in Ontario and Nunavut, and established literacy summer camps in five northern First Nations communities as a pilot project. In 2006, he extended the literacy summer camp program to 28 fly-in communities, securing funding for five years, and also launched Club Amick, a reading club for Indigenous children in Ontario’s North. In the winter of 2007, he completed a second book drive, collecting 900,000 books for Indigenous children in Ontario, northern Québec and Nunavut.
Mr. Bartleman passed away in August of 2023.