American petition seeks to give Manitoba awkward piece of land
A petition in the United States is hoping to give Canada an awkward and inconvenient piece of land next to Manitoba.
Created on a U.S. government website called We the People, the petition is titled “Give Canada Back the Northwest Angle Located in Manitoba.”
The Northwest Angle juts into the province, sitting just south of Lake of the Woods, and is separated from the rest of Minnesota.
The small area is the only place in the United States outside Alaska that sits north of the 49th parallel and is based off a flawed map from the 1700’s.
“Make America great by correcting this critical survey error,” reads a portion of the petition.
But residents in the area aren’t quite on board.
“I’m getting a lot of chuckling. Confusion,” resident Lisa Goulet said. “I don’t think this has been thought through very far past the initial thought of it.”
Goulet runs the Angle Outpost Resort with her husband and eight children near the Minnesota-Canada border. While she said they love their Canadian neighbours she’s skeptical of the petition.
“If I wanted to be a Canadian citizen, I would move to Canada,” Lisa Goulet said. “I don’t understand how it could possibly work. We’re not really taking it very seriously.”
The Angle, as the area is affectionately known to locals, is a community of approximately 120 year-round residents.
It was designated as U.S. territory when negotiators of the initial Canada – U.S. border originally misunderstood the geography of the area.
“It’s an extremely unique area. Absolutely beautiful. There’s no place in the world like it,” Goulet said. “So yes, I totally understand why Canada would say ‘hey we’d like that back.’ We are just very happy and blessed recipients of a mistake, a geographical mistake.”
The small area can be a bit of a hassle to get to.
WATCH: Petition to give Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada
Residents must pass through two Canada-U.S. borders — at the east and southern boundaries of Manitoba. One manned and one unmanned.
Goulet said the area thrives on fishing and tourism, two areas that might benefit if the petition was to move forward.
“Certainly it would alleviate that issue of border crossing and the reporting in,” she said. “It would make it clearer with fishing regulations. Are you in Canadian waters? Here’s how you report there. US waters? Here’s how you report. Sometimes its just a matter of a boat length where everything changes.”
But she also added there would be a lot of other issues “crumpled up in the meantime (that) wouldn’t be worth it.”
The petition requires 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to get the American government’s attention.
As of Thursday, the petition had more than 1,700 signatures.
WATCH: It’s an out-of-the-way place that is getting a lot more attention than they are used to. Here’s a look at the Northwest Angle, the subject of a petition suggesting the U.S. community become part of Manitoba.
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