|Part of a series on the|
|Red River of the North|
The Red River Valley is a region in central North America that is drained by the Red River of the North; it is part of both Canada and the United States. Forming the border between Minnesota and North Dakota when these territories were admitted as states in the United States, this fertile valley has been important to the economies of these states and to Manitoba, Canada.
The population centers of Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba developed in the valley as settlement by ethnic Europeans increased in the late nineteenth century. Completion of major railroads, availability of cheap lands, and forceful removal of Indigenous people as well as a subsequent refusal to recognize Indigenous land claims attracted many new settlers. Some developed large-scale agricultural operations known as bonanza farms, which concentrated on wheat commodity crops.
Paleogeographic Lake Agassiz laid down the Red River Valley Silts. The valley was long an area of habitation by various indigenous cultures, including the historic Ojibwe and Métis peoples. The river flows north through a wide ancient lake plain to Lake Winnipeg. The geography and seasonal conditions can produce devastating floods, with several recorded since the mid-20th century.
French fur traders had relations with First Nations and Native Americans throughout the Great Lakes region. They often lived with the tribes and married or had relations with native women. By the mid-17th century, the Métis, descendants of these Frenchmen and Cree tribes people (in addition to other First Nations peoples), settled in the Red River valley.  The Métis established an ethnicity and culture, as many continued a tradition as hunters and traders involved in the fur trade. They were also farmers in this area.
The British took over French territory east of the Mississippi River following its victory in the Seven Years' War. In the early 19th century, the lucrative fur trade attracted continuing interest, and Lord Selkirk established the Red River Colony.  In 1803 the United States acquired former French territory west of the Mississippi River in the Louisiana Purchase from France. This included some of the Red River Valley.
The U.S. government uses the term Red River Valley generally to describe the sections of northwestern Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota to which it secured title following the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 that settled the northern boundary of the US and Canada. 
This land became part as the second article of the 1818 treaty declared the 49th parallel to be the official border between the U.S. and Canada up to the Rocky Mountains. (This borderline was extended to the Pacific Ocean in 1846 under the Oregon Treaty.) The land acquired under the treaty had an area of 29,066,880 acres (11,762,950 ha), comprising 1.3 percent of total U.S. land area. Centered on the Red River of the North, these lands had previously been under the control of Great Britain. 
West of the Red River Valley, the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, which the US acquired from France, extends north of the 49th parallel. The US ceded this to Britain in exchange for gaining the Red River Valley. These northernmost parts of the Louisiana Purchase are one of the few North American territories ever ceded by the United States to a foreign power. 
The four factors make the Red River Valley so prone to flooding (the factors are related to physical geography):
Synchrony of Discharge with Spring Thaw: The Red River flows northward. The spring thaw also proceeds gradually northward. As a result, runoff from the southern portion of the valley gradually joins the fresh melt-off waters from northerly areas along the Red River. In the northern part of the Valley, this can result in devastating floods if the effects occur at the same time.
Ice Jams: These are also produced because of the northward-flowing river system. Ice is moving from the southern Valley and freshly-broken ice is moving from the central and northern Valley. These two meet steadily; as a result, ice concentration in this system builds and causes delay of water flow.
Glacial Lake Plain: The floor of Glacial Lake Agassiz is one of the flattest expanses of land in the world. Here, the Red River has cut a shallow, winding valley. As a result of this, when the river floods on this plain, a devastating event can occur. The areal coverage of the waters can become dramatic. Being approximately 9,300 years old, the Red River has not yet carved a large valley-floodplain systems on the surrounding geography. Thus, the large lake plain becomes the floodplain to the Red River. The Lake Agassiz glacial lake plain extends around 100 miles from east to west, end to end, between northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.
Decrease in Gradient Downstream: The gradient, or slope, of the Red River averages 5 inches per mile of length. In the region of Drayton-Pembina, the gradient is only 1.5 inches per mile. The water tends to pool in this area during flood season. The region can become a massive, shallow lake. 
Coordinates: 49°00′N97°30′W / 49.000°N 97.500°W
Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and the steppe of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. Lands typically referred to as "prairie" tend to be in North America. The term encompasses the area referred to as the Interior Lowlands of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which includes all of the Great Plains as well as the wetter, hillier land to the east.
Pembina County is a county in the U.S. state of North Dakota. At the 2020 census its population was 6,844. The county seat is Cavalier.
Kittson County is a county in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Minnesota along the Canada–US border, south of the Canadian province of Manitoba. As of the 2020 census, the population was 4,207. Its county seat is Hallock.
Badger Township is a township in Polk County, Minnesota, United States. It is part of the Grand Forks-ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area. Under the United States Public Land Survey System it is a survey township identified as Township 149 North, Range 42 West, Fifth Principal Meridian. The population was 166 at the 2000 census.
Pembina is a city in Pembina County, North Dakota, United States. The population was 512 at the 2020 census. Pembina is located 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the Canada–US border. Interstate 29 passes on the west side of Pembina, leading north to the Canada–US border at Emerson, Manitoba and south to the cities of Grand Forks and Fargo. The Pembina-Emerson Border Crossing is the busiest between Blaine, Washington and Detroit, Michigan and the fifth busiest along the Canada-United States border. It is one of three 24-hour ports of entry in North Dakota, the others being Portal and Dunseith. The Noyes–Emerson Border Crossing, located 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east on the Minnesota side of the Red River, also processed cross border traffic until its closure in 2006.
Lake Agassiz was a large glacial lake in central North America. Fed by glacial meltwater at the end of the last glacial period, its area was larger than all of the modern Great Lakes combined.
The Red River is a river in the north-central United States and central Canada. Originating at the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers between the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota, it flows northward through the Red River Valley, forming most of the border of Minnesota and North Dakota and continuing into Manitoba. It empties into Lake Winnipeg, whose waters join the Nelson River and ultimately flow into Hudson Bay.
The Pembina Region, also referred to as the Pembina District and Pembina Department, is the historic name of an unorganized territory of land that was ceded to the United States. The area included parts of what became North Dakota and a portion of central eastern to northeastern South Dakota. The eastern boundary was the Red River and included the Pembina River area. The region was formerly part of British Rupert's Land and the Red River Colony, that encompassed an area then known as the Assiniboia District, from 1763 to the signing of the Treaty of 1818. The treaty transferred the region that was south of the 49th parallel from the British to the United States.
Buffalo River State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, conserving a prairie bisected by the wooded banks of the Buffalo River. Together with the adjacent Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area owned by The Nature Conservancy, it protects one of the largest and highest-quality prairie remnants in Minnesota. With the closest swimming lake to the Fargo–Moorhead metropolitan area, however, it is most popular for swimming and picnicking. The 1,068-acre (432 ha) park is located just off U.S. Route 10 in Clay County, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) east of Glyndon and 14 miles (23 km) east of Moorhead.
The Geography of North Dakota consists of three major geographic regions: in the east is the Red River Valley, west of this, the Missouri Plateau. The southwestern part of North Dakota is covered by the Great Plains, accentuated by the Badlands. There is also much in the way of geology and hydrology.
The geology of Minnesota comprises the rock, minerals, and soils of the U.S. state of Minnesota, including their formation, development, distribution, and condition.
The U.S. State of Minnesota is the northernmost state outside Alaska; its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel north. Minnesota is in the U.S. region known as the Upper Midwest in interior North America. The state shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and Wisconsin on the northeast; the remainder of the eastern border is with Wisconsin. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 87,014 square miles (225,370 km2), or approximately 2.26% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th largest state.
The Pembina Escarpment is a scarp that runs from South Dakota to Manitoba, and forms the western wall of the Red River Valley. The height of the escarpment above the river valley is 300–400 feet (91–122 m).
The glacial history of Minnesota is most defined since the onset of the last glacial period, which ended some 10,000 years ago. Within the last million years, most of the Midwestern United States and much of Canada were covered at one time or another with an ice sheet. This continental glacier had a profound effect on the surface features of the area over which it moved. Vast quantities of rock and soil were scraped from the glacial centers to its margins by slowly moving ice and redeposited as drift or till. Much of this drift was dumped into old preglacial river valleys, while some of it was heaped into belts of hills at the margin of the glacier. The chief result of glaciation has been the modification of the preglacial topography by the deposition of drift over the countryside. However, continental glaciers possess great power of erosion and may actually modify the preglacial land surface by scouring and abrading rather than by the deposition of the drift.
The Red River Trails were a network of ox cart routes connecting the Red River Colony and Fort Garry in British North America with the head of navigation on the Mississippi River in the United States. These trade routes ran from the location of present-day Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba across the Canada–United States border, and thence by a variety of routes through what is now the eastern part of North Dakota and western and central Minnesota to Mendota and Saint Paul, Minnesota on the Mississippi.
The Traverse Gap is an ancient river channel occupied by Lake Traverse, Big Stone Lake and the valley connecting them at Browns Valley, Minnesota. It is located on the border of the U.S. states of Minnesota and South Dakota. Traverse Gap has an unusual distinction for a valley: it is crossed by a continental divide, and in some floods water has flowed across that divide from one drainage basin to the other. Before the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 it marked the border between British territory in the north and U.S. – or earlier, French – territory in the south.
Herman Beach is one of several beaches delimiting the shorelines of the prehistoric glacial Lake Agassiz. Of note is that the beaches of Lake Agassiz are presently not adjacent to bodies of water, and consequently, are no longer really beaches at all. Named for its proximity to Herman, Minnesota, Herman Beach was formed 11,700 years ago and runs for hundreds of miles through Minnesota and North Dakota. It has been described as a smoothly-rounded beach ridge made of gravel and sand.
The Glacial Lake Souris occupied the basin of the Souris River from the most southern portion of this river's loop in North Dakota to its elbow in Manitoba, where it turned sharply northward and passed through the Tiger Hills. The length of Lake Souris was about 170 miles, from latitude 48° to latitude 50°35', and its maximum width, north of Turtle Mountain, was nearly 70 miles. It was situated near the far southeast corner of the large glacial Lake Agassiz, separated from it by another small glacial body, Glacial Lake Hind.
By the Treaty of Old Crossing (1863) and the Treaty of Old Crossing (1864), the Pembina and Red Lake bands of the Ojibwe, then known as Chippewa Indians, purportedly ceded to the United States all of their rights to the Red River Valley. On the Minnesota side, the ceded territory included all lands lying west of a line running generally southwest from the Lake of the Woods to Thief Lake, about 30 miles (48 km) west of Red Lake, and then angling southeast to the headwaters of the Wild Rice River near the low-lying divide separating the watershed of the Red River of the North from the watershed of the Mississippi River. On the North Dakota side, the ceded territory included all of the Red River Valley north of the Sheyenne River. The total land area, roughly 127 miles (204 km) wide east to west and 188 miles (303 km) long north to south, consisted of nearly 11,000,000 acres (45,000 km2) of rich prairie land and forests.
St. Laurent is a community on the eastern shore of Lake Manitoba. It lies within the boundaries of the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent, 70 km (43 mi) from Winnipeg. A historically-Métis settlement, St. Laurent is one of the few remaining places in which the Michif language is still spoken.