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Featured Article: Nez Perce

Nez Perce Tribal flag
The Nez Perce (autonym: Niimíipu) are Native American people who live in the Pacific Northwest region (Columbia River Plateau) of the United States. They speak the Nez Perce language or Niimiipuutímt, a Sahaptian language related to the several dialects of Sahaptin.

Initially successful in their relationships with white settlers, like other Native American tribes they soon found their lands being taken from them. When they were forced to leave their ancestral homeland in Wallowa Valley in Oregon, promised to them at an earlier council, to be relocated in a reservation in Idaho, the Nez Perce resisted and attempted to flee to Canada. They became famous for their "Flight" of over 1,000 miles from Idaho to Montana, ending less than 40 miles from Canada. One of their leaders, Chief Joseph, gave his famous speech as they surrendered, concluding "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Despite their struggles, the Nez Perce have retained much of their culture. Their customs, oral histories, and spirituality can be studied in the Nez Perce Historical Park, which has thirty-eight sites spread over the four states (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) of the Nez Perce homelands. Nez Perce are active in many areas of contemporary culture, especially offering their expertise in fishing and horse breeding programs.

Popular Article: Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral, (c. 1540 – January 28 1596) was a pre-eminent English navigator, politician, civil engineer, and known slave trader, of the Elizabethan age. He became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, and the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580. Queen Elizabeth thought very highly of him and appointed him second-in-command of the English fleet that sailed against the Spanish Armada in 1588. Although he was famous for his courage in battle, he was not liked by some of his peers. His legendary exploits made him a hero among the English but to the Spaniards he was equated with the devil himself.

Drake's exploits made a significant contribution to the birth of what became the British Empire, as Elizabeth turned her attention away from ambitions in Europe towards the Americas and beyond, where her colony of Virginia was established. Drake's activities thus set the stage for Elizabeth's subjects to settle in North America, where they brought with them notions of religious liberty, of civil society composed of voluntary associations, out of which would arise American democracy.