Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U. S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord. Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U. S. states. This area is the center of transportation, industry and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community; the remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture. Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, purchased by the United States in 1803.
Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition; the state's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, the state is among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation; the word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River: The river got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language,'Mní sóta' which means "clear blue water", or'Mnißota', which means cloudy water.
Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls, Minneota, Minnetonka and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city". Minnesota is the second northernmost U. S. state and northernmost contiguous state. Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel; the state is part of the U. S. region known as part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles, or 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state. Minnesota has gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old. About 2.7 billion years ago, basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean.
The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock. In more recent times, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state's landscape and sculpted its terrain; the Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock; this area is known as the Driftless Zone for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside the northeast has 50 feet or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago, its bed created the fertile Red River valley, its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.
Minnesota is geologically quiet today. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet, only 13 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a rolling peneplain. Two major drainage divides meet in Minnesota's northeast in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean; the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", is apt, as there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acres in size. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres and deepest body of wate
Anishinaabe is the autonym for a group of culturally related indigenous peoples in what is known today as Canada and the United States. These include the Odawa, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree, Algonquin peoples; the Anishinaabeg speak Anishinaabemowin, or Anishinaabe languages that belong to the Algonquian language family. They lived in the Northeast Woodlands and Subarctic; the word Anishinaabeg translates to "people from whence lowered." Another definition refers to "the good humans," meaning those who are on the right road or path given to them by the Creator Gitche Manitou, or Great Spirit. Basil Johnston, an Ojibwe historian and author, wrote that the term's literal translation is "Beings Made Out of Nothing" or "Spontaneous Beings." Anishinaabe myths claim. Anishinaabe is mistakenly considered a synonym of Ojibwe. Anishinaabe has many different spellings. Different spelling systems may spell certain consonants differently; the name Anishinaabe is shortened to Nishnaabe by Odawa people. The cognate Neshnabé comes from the Potawatomi, a people long allied with the Odawa and Ojibwe in the Council of Three Fires.
The Nipissing and Algonquin are identified as Anishinaabe, but are not part of the Council of Three Fires. Related to the Ojibwe and speaking a language mutually intelligible with Anishinaabemowin are the Oji-Cree, their most common autonym is Anishinini and they call their language Anishininiimowin. Among the Anishinaabeg, the Ojibwe collectively call the Nipissings and the Algonquins Odishkwaagamii, while those among the Nipissings who identify themselves as Algonquins call the Algonquins proper Omàmiwinini. Not all Anishinaabemowin-speakers call themselves Anishinaabeg; the Ojibwe people who moved to what are now the prairie provinces of Canada call themselves Nakawē and call their branch of the Anishinaabe language Nakawēmowin.. Particular Anishinaabeg groups have different names from region to region. According to Anishinabe tradition, from records of wiigwaasabak, the people migrated from the eastern areas of North America, from along the East Coast. In old stories, the homeland was called Turtle Island.
This comes from the idea that the universe, the Earth, or the continent of North America are all sometimes understood as being the back of a great turtle, a mysterious natural consciousness. The Anishinaabe oral history considers the Anishinaabe peoples as descendents of the Abenaki people and refers to them as the "Fathers". Another Anishinaabe oral history considers the Abenaki as descendents of the Lenape, thus refers to them as "Grandfathers". However, Cree oral traditions consider the Anishinaabe as their descendants, not the Abenakis. A number of complementary origin concepts exist within the oral traditions of the Anishinaabe. According to the oral history, seven great miigis appeared to the Anishinaabe peoples in the Waabanakiing to teach the people about the midewiwin life-style. One great miigis was too spiritually powerful and would kill people in the Waabanakiing whenever they were in its presence; this being returned to the depths of the ocean, leaving the six great miigis to teach the people.
The Anishinaabe are one of the First Nations in Canada. Each of the six miigis established separate doodem for the people. Of these doodem, five clan systems appeared: Awaazisii, Aan'aawenh and Moozoonii. A sixth was added. Waabizheshi. After founding the doodem, the six miigis returned to the depths of the ocean as well; some oral histories surmise that if the seventh miigis had stayed, it would have established the Animikii Thunderbird doodem. The powerful miigis returned in a vision relating a prophecy to the people, it said that the Anishinaabeg needed to move west to keep their traditional ways alive, because of the many new settlements and people not of Anishinaabe blood who would soon arrive. The migration path of the Anishinaabe peoples would become a series of smaller Turtle Islands, confirmed by the miigis shells. After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" and "Father" of their safety in crossing other tribal territory, the Anishinaabeg moved inland, they advanced along the St. Lawrence River to the Ottawa River and through to Lake Nipissing, to the Great Lakes.
The first of these smaller Turtle Islands was Mooniyaa. Here the Anishinaabeg divided into two groups: one that travelled up and settled along the Ottawa River, the core group who proceeded to the "second stopping place" near Niagara Falls. By the time the Anishinaabeg established their "third stopping place" near the present city of Detroit, the Anishinaabeg had divided into six distinct nations: Algonquin, Missisauga, Ojibwa and Potawatomi. While the Odawa established their long-held cultural centre on Manitoulin Island, the Ojibwe established their centre in the Sault Ste. Marie region of Ontario, Canada. With expansion of trade with the French and the British, fostered by avai
Pembina River (Manitoba – North Dakota)
The Pembina River is a tributary of the Red River of the North 319 miles long, in southern Manitoba in Canada and northeastern North Dakota in the United States. It drains an area of the prairie country along the Canada–US border, threading the Manitoba-North Dakota border eastward to the Red River. Via the Red River, Lake Winnipeg and the Nelson River, it is part of the watershed of Hudson Bay, it rises in several streams on the eastern side of the Turtle Mountains on both sides of the international border. The streams converge near Neelin and flow northeast southeast along the west side of the Pembina Hills into Cavalier County in northeastern North Dakota, it flows just south of the border, past Walhalla and Neche. It joins the Red River from the west just south of Pembina 2 miles south of the international border, it receives the Tongue River from the south 2 miles upstream from its mouth on the Red. The main tributaries of the Pembina River are Long River; some of the numerous minor tributaries include the Mary Jane, Pilot and Snowflake Creeks.
The Pembina River ranges in depth from 1.5 to 4 metres at mid-channel. The full width of the river is variable, ranging from 6 metres to as much as 40 metres in other areas. There are numerous wetlands and prairie potholes in this watershed; the elevation of the watershed ranges from 721 metres above sea level in the southwestern corner of the watershed, down to 330 metres adjacent to the Pembina River in the southeastern corner of the watershed. The watershed is level through the central and eastern regions, however the elevation rises 200 metres in the 25-kilometre radius around the Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. Water flow rates in the Pembina River watershed are variable. Data from hydrometric stations are used to monitor river flow rates and lake levels, for flood forecasting, water management investigations. Water levels peak during spring run-off and declines in a few days. Groundwater contribution to stream flow ensures the river runs throughout the year; the months of March and May account for 68 percent of the run-off in a given year.
Annual spring run-off rates are variable. In Neche, ND the lowest annual volume recorded was 356-m in 1939; the highest recorded volume was 94,400 hectare-m in 1997. Environment Canada has a water quality monitoring station is maintained at the south-east corner of the watershed, near the International Boundary. Information from this station is collected and is used to analyze for numerous variables including pesticides, nutrients, general chemistry, bacteria. A study conducted in 2001 found that over a 25-year period phosphorus concentrations had increased by 52 percent in the Pembina river; this increase in phosphorus is a result of increased nutrient input from a combination of wastewater treatment, agricultural inputs, atmospheric depositions. Elevated phosphorus concentrations promote excessive algal bloom growth, which have many undesirable outcomes for the watershed and the entire Lake Winnipeg basin. List of Manitoba rivers List of North Dakota rivers Pembina Valley Provincial Park Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area
Trial of Louis Riel
The trial of Louis Riel is arguably the most famous trial in the history of Canada. In 1885, Louis Riel had been a leader of a resistance movement by the Métis and First Nations people of western Canada against the Government of Canada in what is now the modern province of Saskatchewan. Known as the North-West Rebellion, this resistance was suppressed by the Canadian military, which led to Riel's surrender and trial for treason; the trial, which took place in July 1885 and lasted only five days, resulted in a guilty verdict. He was given a choice to plead guilty or insanity. Riel was subsequently executed by hanging, an outcome which has had a lasting impact on relations between the Francophone and Anglophone Canadians. Riel was indicted by Judge Hugh Richardson on six counts of treason on July 20. Riel's counsel challenged the court's jurisdiction, but these motions were denied. Riel pleaded not guilty to all charges. Riel's lawyers argued for a delay for the defence to obtain witnesses, it was granted and the trial began on July 28, 1885.
Of the 36 people receiving jury duty summons, only one spoke French – and he was unable to attend. Moreover, the only Roman Catholic in the jury pool was challenged by the prosecution for not being of British stock and excluded. In the event, Riel was tried before a jury of six composed of English and Scottish Protestants, all from the area surrounding Regina; the jurors were Francis Cosgrave – foreman – Whitewood, Edwin J. Brooks of Indian Head, Henry J. Painter of Broadview, Walter Merryfield of Whitewood, Peel Deane of Broadview and Edwin Eratt of Moose Jaw. Thus, despite the fact that French Canadian and Métis jurors could have been secured from among the population of the territories, Riel was tried by a jury composed of English-speaking Protestants. Crown counsel comprised some of the most accomplished lawyers in Canada: Christopher Robinson, Britton Bath Osler, George Burbidge, David Lynch Scott, Thomas Chase-Casgrain. Chase-Casgrain was the lone French-Canadian in the prosecution, they called nine witnesses for the prosecution, General Frederick Middleton, Dr. John Henry Charles Willoughby, Thomas McKay, George Ness, George Kerr, John W. Astley, Thomas E. Jackson, Dr. A. Jukes, Riel's cousin Charles Nolin.
The cross-examination of the defence attempted to prove his mental instability and render a not guilty plea by reason of insanity, but to little success. The defence was led by Charles Fitzpatrick, a notable lawyer from Quebec who subsequently became Chief Justice of Canada; the defence had their turn on July 30. They produced five witnesses, Dr. François Roy of the Beauport Asylum, Dr. Daniel Clark of Toronto Lunatic Asylum, Riel's secretary for a short time, Phillipe Garnot and priests Alexis André and Vital Fourmond, all who gave evidence of Riel's insanity, but were far from sympathetic or supportive; the defence's case only lasted one day. Riel delivered two lengthy speeches during his trial, defending his own actions and affirming the rights of the Métis people, he rejected his lawyer's attempt to argue that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, asserting, "Life, without the dignity of an intelligent being, is not worth having."Riel defended his use of religious themes, but insisted that all his political actions were aimed at practical results.
He denounced the Government of Canada for its complete lack of regard for the peoples and interests of the West. "Although the Province of Ontario is great", he said, "it is not as great as the North-West." Nonetheless, Riel maintained his decorum and proclaimed that he hoped to be one day recognized as a force of good for the whole country. He said: "I am glad. I will be one day acknowledged as more than a leader of the Metis, if so I hope I will have the opportunity to be acknowledged as a leader of good in this great country."On July 31, after only half an hour of deliberation, the jury found him guilty of treason but recommended mercy. Nonetheless, Judge Hugh Richardson sentenced him to death, with the date of his execution set for September 18, 1885; the execution took place November 16, 1885, at what is now the RCMP training academy, near the modern-day RCMP Heritage Centre. "We tried Riel for treason," one juror said, "and he was hanged for the murder of Scott." The defence appealed the conviction.
The first appeal lay to the Court of Queen's Bench for Manitoba. The defence applied for leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain; the Judicial Committee denied leave to appeal. There were numerous political appeals to the federal government for clemency. Prime Minister Macdonald was flooded with letters and petitions from sympathetic Québécois, who saw in Riel the French Catholic minority being oppressed by English Protestants. Macdonald refused to intervene to commute the sentence because of political pressure, stated that Riel would hang "...though every dog in Quebec shall bark in his favour." According to critics, the outcome of the trial was due to the underhanded conduct of the government and to the obvious rift between the lawyers and the accused. Throughout the trial Riel's lawyers ignored his advice and refused his requests, they threatened to abandon him halfway through the procedure. Riel insisted that had the witnesses been properly cross-examined, it would have been established that his men had been attacked first.
"Happily they were when they appeared and showed their teeth to devour," he said. "All I was ready. That
Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation
Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation is an Indian Reservation located in northern North Dakota, United States. It is the land base for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. December 21, 1882; the main reservation lies in the northern part of Rolette County, North Dakota and has a land area of 67.583 square miles and a 2016 estimated population of 6,369 persons. It has extensive off-reservation trust lands, which make the reservation's lands the most dispersed of all reservations in the nation; these lands are spread across 22 counties in three states: North Dakota and South Dakota. Including these lands, the reservation's land area is a total of 233.036 square miles. Its total resident population at the 2000 census was 8,331; the largest portion of off-reservation trust land is located in Rolette County, with significant parcels in Phillips, Blaine and Roosevelt counties in Montana. Sixteen other counties have lesser amounts of trust land; the Reservation is situated in the southeastern part of the Turtle Mountain Plateau.
The Turtle Mountain Plateau covers a large area in extreme northern North Dakota and extreme southern Manitoba. In the United States, the plateau is not as extensively covered by a forest as in the Canadian part of the plateau; the forest that covers the plateau is clear evidence that the boreal forest extended much further westward. The Turtle Mountains are not mountains but tiny hills, the plateau is considered an extension of the plains or prairie, it is only higher in elevation, about 500 feet or more. Many lakes dot the plateau, evidence that the area was covered by a large lake in ancient times; the main part of the Turtle Mountain Reservation is located in North Dakota. It is 6 miles by 12 miles, it covers 72 square miles. Another 26,175 acres is located in Rolette County, North Dakota, around the Turtle Mountain Reservation. Total acres in Rolette County are 72,255 acres. Another 6,698 acres is managed by the Trenton Agency. Much of the Trenton land is in Montana; the remaining land, totaling 67,852 acres, is located in Montana, with small parcels in North Dakota and South Dakota.
It is one of a few Native American Reservations. The total area of the Turtle Mountain Reservation is 146,805 acres; the Anishinaabe people were living in what is now the Turtle Mountain Plateau region in the late 17th century. Much of the land surrounding the Turtle Mountain Plateau was covered by a forest during those times. Wild rice grew in many of the waterways and was gathered for food by the Anishinaabe people, becoming part of their traditional diet. By 1700, Chippewa warriors had brought many of the northern Dakota people under their control; as the 18th century progressed, they brought more of the Dakota peoples under their control. In the early 19th century and Metis warriors battled with white fur trade companies over sensitive issues. Included was disagreements over the lucrative pemmican. Pemmican was vital to the white fur trade companies; the Pemmican War was fought over the lucrative pemmican trade. The Battle of Seven Oaks was the major battle of the war. Historians claim the Chippewa still controlled nearly 10 million acres in 1892.
That is nearly 15,000 sq mi. In the late 1880s, the United States sent representatives to chief Little Shell III and his councilors, to negotiate a deal for the acreage still owned by them. Chief Little Shell III was not pleased about the issue; the negotiations continued on for several years and ended in 1891, when the United States selected 32 Chippewa leaders to negotiate and sign the McCumber Agreement. That occurred in 1892. In 1882, the Turtle Mountain Reservation was established. In 1884, the United States reduced the size of the Turtle Mountain Reservation to two townships or 46,080 acres; the Chippewa ceded much of their land. Chief Little Shell III ceded the land in exchange for a large Reservation that bordered the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. During the negotiations over the 10 million acres in the early 1890s, the Chippewa leader and the US could not come to agreement; the United States forced chief Little Shell III and several hundred of his supporters off the reservation rolls, making them landless.
Chief Little Shell III relocated from the huge Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, to the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. Some Dakota Indians from Manitoba claim that chief Sitting Bull is buried in the Turtle Mountains on the Canadian side. According to Gordon Wasteste, 84 when interviewed in 2007, his family included chiefs who were rulers of the Turtle Mountains, he claimed one of his ancestors witnessed the assassination of Sitting Bull, in December 1890 and knew where he was buried. After the Dakota War in 1862, the United States sent thousands of their soldiers into central North Dakota, to pursue and battle the Indians who fled from near the White Earth Reservation region. A series of battles were fought in; the first one was the Battle of Big Mound. The battles are considered to have been a part of the conflict with the Dakota. Sitting Bull participated in all of the battles. According to Gordon Wasteste, his ancestors had the authority to approve any burials within the T
In Canada, the First Nations are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. Those in the Arctic area are distinct and known as Inuit; the Métis, another distinct ethnicity, developed after European contact and relations between First Nations people and Europeans. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a "designated group", along with women, visible minorities, people with physical or mental disabilities. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada. North American indigenous; some of their oral traditions describe historical events, such as the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 and the 18th-century Tseax Cone eruption. Written records began with the arrival of European explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery, beginning in the late 15th century.
European accounts by trappers, traders and missionaries give important evidence of early contact culture. In addition and anthropological research, as well as linguistics, have helped scholars piece together an understanding of ancient cultures and historic peoples. Although not without conflict, Euro-Canadians' early interactions with First Nations, Métis, Inuit populations were less combative compared to the violent battles between colonists and native peoples in the United States. Collectively, First Nations, Métis peoples constitute Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, or first peoples. First Nation as a term became used beginning in 1980s to replace the term Indian band in referring to groups of Indians with common government and language; the term had come into common usage in the 1970s to avoid using the word Indian, which some Canadians considered offensive. No legal definition of the term exists; some indigenous peoples in Canada have adopted the term First Nation to replace the word band in the formal name of their community.
A band is a "body of Indians for whose use and benefit in common lands... have been set apart... moneys are held... or declared... to be a band for the purposes of" the Indian Act by the Canadian Crown. The term Indian is a misnomer given to indigenous peoples of North America by European explorers who erroneously thought they had landed on the Indian subcontinent; the use of the term Native Americans, which the US government and others have adopted, is not common in Canada. It refers more to the Indigenous peoples residing within the boundaries of the United States; the parallel term Native Canadian is not used, but Native and autochtone are. Under the Royal Proclamation of 1763 known as the "Indian Magna Carta," the Crown referred to indigenous peoples in British territory as tribes or nations; the term First Nations is capitalized. Bands and nations may have different meanings. Within Canada, First Nations has come into general use for indigenous peoples other than Inuit and Métis. Individuals using the term outside Canada include U.
S. tribes within the Pacific Northwest, as well as supporters of the Cascadian independence movement. The singular used on culturally politicized reserves, is the term First Nations person. A more recent trend is for members of various nations to refer to themselves by their tribal or national identity only, e.g. "I'm Haida". For pre-history, see: Paleo-Indians and Archaic periods First Nations by linguistic-cultural area: List of First Nations peoplesFirst Nations peoples had settled and established trade routes across what is now Canada by 1,000 BC to 500 BC. Communities developed, each with its own culture and character. In the northwest were the Athapaskan-speaking peoples, Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ, Tutchone-speaking peoples, Tlingit. Along the Pacific coast were the Haida, Kwakiutl, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nisga'a and Gitxsan. In the plains were the Blackfoot, Kainai and Northern Peigan. In the northern woodlands were the Chipewyan. Around the Great Lakes were the Anishinaabe, Algonquin and Wyandot. Along the Atlantic coast were the Beothuk, Innu and Micmac.
The Blackfoot Confederacies reside in the Great Plains of Montana and Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The name "Blackfoot" came from the colour of the peoples' leather footwear, known as moccasins, they had painted the bottoms of their moccasins black. One account claimed that the Blackfoot Confederacies walked through the ashes of prairie fires, which in turn coloured the bottoms of their moccasins black, they had migrated onto the Great Plains from the Plateau area. The Blackfoot may have lived in their homeland since the end of the Pleistocene 11,000 years ago.. For thousands of years, they managed the prairie to support bison herds and cultivated berries and edible roots, they allowed only legitimate traders into their territory, making treaties only when the bison herds were exterminated in the 1870s. The Squamish history is a series of past events, both passed on through oral tradition and recent history, of the Squamish indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Prior to colonization, they recorded their history through oral tradition as a way to transmit stories and knowledge across generations. This was common among all the peoples; the writing system esta
The Great Lakes called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Erie and Michigan-Huron; the connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway. The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, second-largest by total volume, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water by volume; the total surface is 94,250 square miles, the total volume is 5,439 cubic miles less than the volume of Lake Baikal. Due to their sea-like characteristics the five Great Lakes have long been referred to as inland seas. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world by area, the largest freshwater lake by area. Lake Michigan is the largest lake, within one country.
The Great Lakes began to form at the end of the last glacial period around 14,000 years ago, as retreating ice sheets exposed the basins they had carved into the land which filled with meltwater. The lakes have been a major source for transportation, migration and fishing, serving as a habitat to a large number of aquatic species in a region with much biodiversity; the surrounding region is called the Great Lakes region. Though the five lakes lie in separate basins, they form a single interconnected body of fresh water, within the Great Lakes Basin, they form a chain connecting the east-central interior of North America to the Atlantic Ocean. From the interior to the outlet at the Saint Lawrence River, water flows from Superior to Huron and Michigan, southward to Erie, northward to Lake Ontario; the lakes drain a large watershed via many rivers, are studded with 35,000 islands. There are several thousand smaller lakes called "inland lakes," within the basin; the surface area of the five primary lakes combined is equal to the size of the United Kingdom, while the surface area of the entire basin is about the size of the UK and France combined.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes, within the United States. The lakes are divided among the jurisdictions of the Canadian province of Ontario and the U. S. states of Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and New York. Both Ontario and Michigan include in their boundaries portions of four of the lakes: Ontario does not border Lake Michigan, Michigan does not border Lake Ontario. New York and Wisconsin's jurisdictions extend into two lakes, each of the remaining states into one of the lakes; as the surfaces of Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie are all the same elevation above sea level, while Lake Ontario is lower, because the Niagara Escarpment precludes all natural navigation, the four upper lakes are called the "upper great lakes". This designation, however, is not universal; those living on the shore of Lake Superior refer to all the other lakes as "the lower lakes", because they are farther south. Sailors of bulk freighters transferring cargoes from Lake Superior and northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to ports on Lake Erie or Ontario refer to the latter as the lower lakes and Lakes Michigan and Superior as the upper lakes.
This corresponds to thinking of Lakes Erie and Ontario as "down south" and the others as "up north". Vessels sailing north on Lake Michigan are considered "upbound" though they are sailing toward its effluent current; the Chicago River and Calumet River systems connect the Great Lakes Basin to the Mississippi River System through man-made alterations and canals. The St. Marys River, including the Soo Locks, connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron; the Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The St. Clair River connects Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair; the Detroit River connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie; the Niagara River, including Niagara Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal, bypassing the Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario; the Saint Lawrence River and the Saint Lawrence Seaway connect Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean. Lakes Huron and Michigan are sometimes considered a single lake, called Lake Michigan–Huron, because they are one hydrological body of water connected by the Straits of Mackinac.
The straits are 120 feet deep. Lake Nipigon, connected to Lake Superior by the Nipigon River, is surrounded by sill-like formations of mafic and ultramafic igneous rock hundreds of meters high; the lake lies in the Nipigon Embayment, a failed arm of the triple junction in the Midcontinent Rift System event, estimated at 1,109 million years ago. Green Bay is an arm of Lake Michigan, along the south coast of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the east coast of Wisconsin, it is separated from the rest of the lake by the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, the Garden Peninsula in Michigan, the chain of islands between