The governments of Canada and Denmark struck a deal to resolve a half-century border dispute known as the “Whisky Wars” on Tuesday during a jovial ceremony that highlighted their commitment to non-violent territorial negotiations.

The two countries have been “fighting” the Whisky Wars since 1971 to settle conflicting claims about Hans Island. According to the World Atlas, the less than a square mile island is in the middle of the Nares Strait, a 22-mile body of water that separates Canada and Greenland, which is an autonomous territory of Denmark. The agreement also ensures the freedom of movement on the island for the Inuit people who hunt and fish in the area.

Ottawa and Copenhagen have agreed to split Hans Island (also known as Tartupaluk in Inuktitut) roughly in half, following a natural ravine that divides the island. All those years of “dispute” were resolved through a simple division of the island, with bottles of whisky and schnapps exchanged.

“We’re setting a precedent. We’re showing to other countries how territorial disputes can be solved,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said after the signing ceremony held in Ottawa, Canada. “It is possible to settle a disagreement, and it’s always the best way to do it through principles and norms that both parties recognize.”

The Whisky Wars

Hans Island is a small sliver of land with no apparent resources. Given the international laws of the sea, countries within twelve nautical miles have the right to claim the territory. During the reign of the League of Nations, the Permanent Court of International Justice granted the island’s ownership to Denmark.