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James Karl Bartleman
Grant of Arms and Supporters
September 16, 2002
Vol. IV, p. 236
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Per pale Azure and Or three Ojibway canoes in pale counterchanged;
The shield ensigned by a Chippewa chief's headdress proper;
Two white-tailed deer Or each gorged with a collar of trillium flowers and sweet grass proper pendent therefrom a bezant fimbriated, that to the dexter charged with a cock, that to the sinister charged with a balance Gules, the supporters standing on a grassy mound Vert above barry wavy Argent and Azure;
COGNITIO HUMANITAS RECONCILIATIO;
The symbolism is multiple. First, the colour choice was the preference expressed by His Honour. Second, the division into the two colours symbolizes the union between His Honour and Her Honour. Third, the three canoes represent Their Honours' three children. Fourth, they also represent an element of His Honour's First Nations heritage. Fifth, the canoes can refer to the notion of diplomacy and travelling to other lands to undertake diplomatic work.
The traditional Chippewa chief's headdress takes the place of the steel helmet of medieval heraldry. Since it is modelled on a headdress actually worn by Chief John Bigwin, it represents His Honour's heritage as a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation. Three of the six feathers refer to Their Honours' three children, and the other three, at the suggestion of a Mnjikaning Elder, can refer to the three lakes, Simcoe, Couchiching and St. John, which are touched by the Mnjikaning territory.
The grass symbolizes the lawns of Queen's Park, the site of the Lieutenant Governor's suite. The wavy white and blue bands represent the waters of the lakes of Muskoka. The white-tailed deer are His Honour's family symbol. The trillium, Ontario's provincial flower, represents His Honour's service to the province as Lieutenant Governor. The sweetgrass is a reference to the ceremonies that frequently precede important First Nations gatherings and is thus another reference to His Honour's heritage. By extension, it can also symbolize the formal discussions and interchange of diplomacy. The medallions feature a reference to Her Honour's heritage, the red cock of Wallonia, and a symbol honouring His Honour's father and Their Honours' son Laurent, pursuing a legal career.
This is a statement of important elements in His Honour's personal philosophy. It means "Knowledge, understanding, reconciliation".