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Featured Article: Potawatomi

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The Potawatomi (also spelled Pottawatomie or Pottawatomi) are a Native American people originally of the Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family.

The Potawatomi controlled a vast amount of territory in the 1700s and served as middlemen for the fur trade between the French and various Great Lakes Tribes. Among the first Native Americans to intermarry with the Europeans, they fought alongside the French in the French and Indian Wars and later as allies of the British in the War of 1812.

Descendants numbers between 30,000 to 40,000 in the early twenty-first century, scattered throughout Canada and the United States, with many settled on or near the ten (official and unofficial) reservations. Most of today's Potawatomi also claim European descendancy.

Popular Article: Matchmaking

Matchmaking is the process of introducing a couple as potential partners in marriage. People in diverse cultures, past and present, have sought assistance from matchmakers because they may have a deeper understanding of human character, a wider connection to acquaintances, and greater knowledge and experience to help someone choose a marriage partner. The increase in popularity of "love matches" based on romantic and physical attraction, together with a loosening of the restrictions on behavior and decline in arranged marriages, led to a decline in the use of matchmakers with young people turning to various social situations to find prospective partners. Technological advances, however, have seen the re-emergence of the matchmaking process, as computers and the internet became popular tools in the search for an ideal mate. Ultimately, though, the involvement of more than technology is necessary to guide people to find a partner with whom they can build a harmonious relationship leading to a loving family, based on not only the physical but also the spiritual aspects of their lives.

Historically, in many cultures parents would request the assistance of a matchmaker in finding a suitable spouse for their child. The job of the matchmaker was extremely important because dating and free choice of a marriage partner was not allowed, and the only way for young people marry was by arranged marriage. For many centuries, the matchmaker's job was to check the ethnic identity and compatibility of the proposed couple. They could also act as "middlemen" by introducing potential candidates, especially if the acquaintances of the parents and family were limited.