Bartleman, James K.

James K. Bartleman, diplomat, lieutenant-governor (b at Orillia, Ont 24 Dec 1939). James Bartleman grew up in the Muskoka town of Port Carling and is a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation. An American he worked for as a teenager helped him with a scholarship in Grade 13. Bartleman went on to earn a BA (honours) in history from the University of Western Ontario in 1963. Shortly after graduation, he went on a trip to Europe. He quickly got a taste for life abroad and decided to write the foreign service exam.

James Bartleman had a distinguished career of more than 35 years in the Canadian Foreign Service before his installation as lieutenant-governor of Ontario. He was Canada's ambassador to the European Union from 2000 to 2002. He served as high commissioner to Australia from 1999 to 2000 and to South Africa from 1998 to 1999. Bartleman was ambassador to the North Atlantic Council of NATO from 1990 to 1994. He served as ambassador to Israel and high commissioner to Cyprus from 1986 to 1990, and was Ambassador to Cuba from 1981 to 1983.

From 1994 to 1998, James Bartleman was foreign policy adviser to the prime minister and assistant secretary to the Cabinet for foreign and defence policy, Privy Council Office. He also served in senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1967. He opened Canada's first diplomatic mission in the newly independent People's Republic of Bangladesh in 1972. Bartleman holds the highest foreign service rank of any Canadian Aboriginal person.

Upon his installation as lieutenant-governor of Ontario, James Bartleman became chancellor and a Member of the Order of Ontario. He received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for public service in 1999 and was invested as a serving member of the Order of St John the same year. He is the 27th lieutenant-governor of Ontario and was sworn in on 7 March 2002. A key initiative during Bartleman's tenure was the establishment of the Lieutenant-Governor's Book Program, in which more than 1 million used books were collected and donated to First Nations schools.

James Bartleman's term as lieutenant-governor concluded in Sept 2007, and he was succeeded by David ONLEY.