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Table of Contents
Foreword
Preface
Glossary

Chapter 2: Location, Borders, and Lakes

2.4: The International Border at the Northwest Angle

In the 1783 Treaty of Paris the United States and Great Britain agreed that the U.S. border in this area would extend from the northwestern corner of Lake of the Woods due west to the Mississippi River. But the source of the Mississippi River, Lake Hasca, at Latitude 47º 12' N and Longitude 95º 10' W is south of Lake of the Woods. The Anglo-American Convention of 1818 solved the issue by redrawing the border to run south from the northwest corner of Lake of the Woods to the 49th parallel and from there along the 49th parallel to the Pacific. One result is that the Northwest Angle is cut off from the rest of the contiguous U.S.A.; it can only be reached by land by passing through Canada.

The borders have been superimposed on the image obtained from NASA’s Terra Satellite on May 19, 2002. The Manitoba/Minnesota border 1 runs south from the northwest corner 2 of Lake of the Woods 3. It extends into the lake until it reaches 49º N 4 and then turns west 5. The Ontario/Minnesota border 6 runs south-southeast through Lake of the Woods.

The Northwest Angle is isolated from the rest of the U.S.A., so much so that in the late 1990s some of its residents expressed a desire to secede from the U.S.A. and become part of Manitoba “The announcement resulted from frustration over border-crossing rules and differences in fishing regulations between the two countries[i].

On this false colour image the healthy vegetation appears red. Both the Northwest Angle and that part of Manitoba shown here, except for the area occupied by Buffalo Point First Nation 7 and a grey marshy area 8 north of Buffalo Bay 9, are heavily wooded. In contrast much of the area of Minnesota south of Lake of the Woods 10 has been cleared for agriculture. In Manitoba the route followed by PR 308 11 leading into Minnesota 12 is clearly seen.

Figure 2.4: The International Border at the Northwest Angle

Figure 2.4: The International Border at the Northwest Angle

Figure 2.4

Terra Satellite Image

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)

May 19, 2002

Scale: 1:320,000 (approximately)

Location (in Manitoba): Townships 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Range 17E

Map sheets: 1:250,000 52E Kenora

1:50,000 52E/2 Big Island

Notes