Wikinews interviews Christopher Beyette, prince of the Principality of Vikesland
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Over the past few months, Wikinews reporter Joseph Ford has held several interviews with Kevin Baugh, president of the Republic of Molossia, a micronation located near Dayton, Nevada. This week, Ford had the opportunity to interview another intermicronational leader, Christopher Beyette, prince of the Principality of Vikesland, another micronation located in Manitoba.
At only three years old, the Principality is a relative newcomer to the intermicronational community.
When asked if he considers Vikesland a serious micronation, Prince Christopher said that his country is "a new nation project. Our goal is to eventually become an internationally recognized state with hopefully some sort of small sovereign land base."
He went on to tell much more about Vikesland, which can be read in the interview below.
((Wikinews (Joseph Ford) )) Today, there are hundreds of micronations that are little more than online chat groups or role playing games. Is the Principality of Vikesland a serious land-claiming micronation? Do you have the goal of eventual international recognition?
- Prince Christopher: The Principality of Vikesland was created as a new nation project. Our goal is to eventually become an internationally recognized state with hopefully some sort of small sovereign land base. Right now we do have land owned by various members of the Royal family and nobility that are declared Vikeslandic territory. This territory is unfortunately not sovereign territory but simply privately owned land in other older larger and more established Macro-nations. We are not secessionists and have no desire to forcefully take any land from any country that is not willing to give it to us. The current goal is to build the nation to the point where we can be successfully recognized by the international community. The issue of sovereign land will then be easier to negotiate with friendly countries. We plan on gaining the capacity to purchase an island or tract of land that equals at least 20 square miles to then establish ourselves on a full national scale.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Where is the Principality of Vikesland located?
- Prince Christopher: The main land base for Vikesland is in Manitoba, Canada near the Riding Mountian national park on the eastern side. Looking on a map, it is approximately 3 miles west of the small town of Kelwood and about 1/2 mile to the south. We also have other declared lands in Europe, the U.S.A. , Australia and Africa.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) How large is Vikesland?
- Prince Christopher: Vikesland's main Land base in Manitoba Canada is approximately 169 acres. Land size in Europe tallies to a larger 1,200 acres! When all is said and done we have an approximate current total of 1,400 acres between all Royalty and nobility.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Tell us about your country's history.
- Prince Christopher: Vikesland came into being officially in July of 2005. I first came across the concept of Micronationalism in late 2004 and thought it would be a great concept for a documentary. Then the idea of creating my own nation for that documentary would be even better, so I came up with Vikesland. The name is an homage to the Vikings of old who adventured into the unknown world in search of new things. The documentary is very slow in developing due to lack of funding mainly but that will hopefully be solved in the next year or two. Vikesland quickly developed into a real passion for me and others and has developed into what it is right now. We have a constitution and various Government Ministries that oversee the running of the nation.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Does Vikesland have its own flag, currency and national anthem?
- Prince Christopher: Yes we currently have a flag as well as our own currency and our own national anthem. We minted a small run of $1 Vikeslandic Crowns and have various denominations in paper currency. We also have postal stamps. The national anthem is currently only an instrumental theme but lyrics are in the works.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) What is the official language of Vikesland?
- Prince Christopher: The official language of Vikesland is English but we are possibly going to adopt an official second language in the future.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) What is the governmental structure of Vikesland?
- Prince Christopher: I like to call our system a democratic monarchy where the head of state is directly involved in the Government workings but most major things require a majority vote from the royal council. Think of city hall with the Prince as Mayor and the rest of the Government as council. Our system also allows for general citizen involvement through an electoral position of Chancellor or Ministerial portfolio. As Prince I have constitutional rights to appoint Government ministers and Noble titles, but I always like to confer with the Royal council to get their approval as well.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Does Vikesland have its own military?
- Prince Christopher: Yes, we have the Vikeslandic Security force which has land, air and sea capability. Mind you these are all on a very small scale. Our force is essentially an unarmed entity that is primarily focused on security, search and rescue and having a lot of fun. We have no desire to wage any wars on anyone and will defer any violent threats against us to the larger Macro-national authorities. The only time any of us carry a weapon is for wild animal defense, hunting or sporting purposes. This is of course in accordance with local Macro-national laws and with the Noble land owners consent.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Tell us about the Vikeslandic culture.
- Prince Christopher: Vikeslandic culture is an ever evolving thing. We speak English and our lifestyles are a quintessential westerners life, but as more and more people become citizens they bring a variety of new things with them. We heavily condone the arts in all forms and the majority of us love some part of the outdoors, be it camping, hiking or boating.
I am currently going to have an official Vikeslandic food recipe compilation made and posted on our website. I hope to have authentic Vikeslandic food up there for everyone to try. Being socially conscious and having a good time in this life is top of the list.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Does Vikesland belong to any international organizations?
- Prince Christopher: Yes, we currently belong to an intermicronational organization called The League of Small Nations. It is an organization designed to advance the rights of small sovereign states and provide a platform from which their voices can be heard among the larger more powerful states.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Can one become a citizen of Vikesland? Is honorary citizenship granted?
- Prince Christopher: Yes, you can become a citizen of Vikesland by applying on our citizenship page. We have two types of citizenry, cyber citizens (honorary) or full citizens.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) Can people visit Vikesland?
- Prince Christopher: Yes they can but it is only by appointment. Anyone showing up unannounced will be most likely turned away. Requests can be made directly to myself via e-mail only.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) What are your duties as prince? What is it like to run your own country?
- Prince Christopher: It is stressful being the head of state, it is a lot of fun but equally testing as well. I oversee most government workings and provide leadership and direction for those under me. I am also the face of Vikesland so I take care of all media related issues and some foreign diplomacy as well as keep the citizens informed via or website with video or write-ups. I also head various projects within our security force and our Department of Aeronautics and Space. It can be tough but it is equally rewarding.
((WN (Joseph Ford) )) There are thousands reading this right now. Is there anything else you would like us to know about your nation?
- Prince Christopher: I would just like to reiterate that we are not secessionists or unpatriotic rebels of any-kind. I personally am a very patriotic Canadian but I am also equally a patriotic Vikeslandic. This nation project is a new frontier and immensely fun on top of it. I consider myself a dual citizen of both Canada and Vikesland and I am law abiding. It is with hope that one day we can achieve our own autonomy peacefully with our distinct culture and small land-base. Semi-autonomy is even an acceptable outcome in the end. The first and foremost of all of this is that everyone involved enjoy what they are doing. I am not willing, nor am I asking anyone to ruin their health or professional life by relentlessly pursuing an impossible goal. I believe that if it is not fun or beneficial, why do it. Yes taking the sour with the sweet is a fact of life, but we should have at least 80 percent sweet when building up Vikesland.
- All of our citizens in various parts of the world hopefully also share this ideal.