The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
Heraldry Today

The contents of this Register are intended for research purposes only. The heraldic emblems found in the Register may not be reproduced in any form or in any media without the written consent of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and/or the recipient.

Michaëlle Jean

Ottawa, Ontario
Grant of Arms and Supporters, with differences to Marie-Éden Lafond
September 20, 2005
Vol. IV, p. 1

Click on each image to enlarge. The blazon and symbolism for each element will accompany the enlarged image.



Sable a sand dollar ensigned by the Royal Crown Or;


A sea shell Or entoured by a chain its ends broken Sable


wo Simbis Or queued and crined Sable each sounding a sea shell Or and issuant from barry wavy Or and Sable set before a rocky mound proper growing thereon to the dexter a palm tree and to the sinister a pine tree Or;



Differenced Arms for Marie-Éden Lafond, daughter of Michaëlle Jean

The arms of Michaëlle Jean debruised by a three-point label Argent; this individual will inherit the Arms of the Recipient following his or her death;



In the centre of the coat of arms is a sand dollar, which is a special talisman for Michaëlle Jean. Sand dollars are marine creatures found on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada and Northern United States. The Royal Crown symbolizes the vice-regal function and service to all Canadians.


Above the shield, the sea shell and broken chain allude to the famous sculpture Marron inconnu by Albert Mangonès, displayed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, depicting an escaped slave blowing a sea shell to gather and call to arms his fellow sufferers around the whole island. For Michaëlle Jean this image evokes the victory of her ancestors over barbarism and, more broadly, the call to liberty.


Beside the shield are two Simbis, water spirits from Haitian culture who comfort souls, purify troubled waters and intervene with wisdom and foresight. Moreover, the Simbis' words are enlightening and soothing. These two feminine figures symbolize the vital role played by women in advancing social justice. They are shown in front of a rock set with a palm tree, a symbol of peace in Haitian history, and a pine tree representing the natural riches of Canada.


The motto "Briser les solitudes", which means "Breaking down solitudes", is at the heart of the objectives Michaëlle Jean intends to follow.

Differenced Arms for Marie-Éden Lafond, daughter of Michaëlle Jean

Not applicable


Canada Gazette Information

The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on October 29, 2005, in Volume 139, page 3451 of the Canada Gazette.

Artist Information

Original concept of Robert D. Watt and Claire Boudreau, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Cathy Bursey-Sabourin

Doris Wionzek

Recipient Information

Governor General

One or more entries related to this Recipient's emblems appear elsewhere in the Register: Volume V, p. 440.