Petition aims to give Minnesota's Northwest Angle to Canada

This isn't the first time a group has wanted this small piece of land to go to Canada.

There's a petition going around that has an end goal of giving part of northern Minnesota to Canada, a move that the group that created the petition believes was made part of the United States because of a flawed map. 

A group called "We the People" started a petition and dubbed it "Give Canada back the Northwest Angle located in MANITOBA." Here's what the organizers claim: 

"Negotiators of the initial Canada–US border misunderstood the geography of the area. Benjamin Franklin and British representatives relied on the Mitchell Map of colonial American geographer John Mitchell. Due to a surveying errors, it is the only place in the United States outside Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel, which forms the border between the U.S. and Canada. The total population is only about 120 people which are native to Canadian soil. Make america great by correcting this critical survey error."

According to CBS News, the map was drawn in 1783 during the Treaty of Paris. Instead of drawing the line along the 49th parallel, which serves as the border between Canada and the U.S., the line darts north of Lake of the Woods into Manitoba, giving land surrounded by a lake to the south and Canadian soil to the west, east and north to Minnesota. 

On a map, it sticks out like a sore thumb. 

The Northwest Angle is highlighted by the red box. 

The Northwest Angle is highlighted by the red box. 

The Northwest Angle goes north of that line, and is actually on the north end of Lake of the Woods and the only way to reach it by land is by going through Canada, which requires a passport.

According to ezbordercrossing.com, there's a small shack with a videophone that serves as the customs building at the border crossing of the Northwest Angle. It's unattended and requires travelers to communicate with border officials while holding your passport in front of the camera. 

But this is far from the first time a group has encouraged the Northwest Angle to cede from the U.S. and join Canada. In the late-1990s, while Jesse Ventura was governor of Minnesota, the New York Times covered what was called the "Walleye War," a battle between America and Canada over tourism and fishing along and in Lake of the Woods. 

That issue was settled in with the inlet remaining part of the U.S. and Minnesota, and before the new petition gains any momentum it'll need 100,000 signatures before the White House will even take a look at it. 

Even then, the U.S. won't even have the authority to hand over most of it, given 80 percent of the land is held in trust for the Red Lake Nation Band.

Next Up

Mike Zimmer

‘Fire Zimmer’ trending after Vikings beat Panthers

The Vikings won the game but their coach is still on the hot seat.

Screen Shot 2021-10-17 at 8.24.33 PM

NCHC condemns Huskies fans for throwing projectiles after controversial no-call

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference says that it will be reviewing both the no-call and the aftermath.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.


Northwest Angle Canada border

Canada to allow Northwest Angle residents to travel to mainland without COVID restrictions

Canada will keep most of its other COVID-19 restrictions in place through June.

NW Angle Guest Ice Road sign (1)

30-mile ice road reconnects MN's Northwest Angle to the rest of the US

The Angle has been cut off from the rest of the state – and the country – since Canada closed its borders at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnesota-Canada border

Minneapolis murder suspect arrested at Minnesota-Canada border

Entrance into Canada is currently prohibited for non-essential business.

County leaning toward swapping Northwest Angle land to Red Lake band

Lake of the Woods County wants to trade more than 9,000 acres of state-owned land on the Northwest Angle in exchange for tribal approval of roads and utility lines that run through reservation land. The Red Lake band maintains that existing roads and power lines amount to trespassing on their land.

Young mom dies in farming accident in northwest Minnesota

Katie Vilmo became a mother just months ago.

Train loaded with coal derails in northwest Minnesota

The BNSF train derailed at about 2:20 a.m.

Minnesota-Canada border

CDC: Do not travel to Canada, even if you are vaccinated

The CDC has issued its highest travel alert level for Canada.

Train hits and kills man northwest of Duluth

The 34-year-old man died at the scene.