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Noquisiyi (later interpreted as Nikwasi) means star place and was a Cherokee town 

situated in present-day Franklin, North Carolina

Though its exact age remains unknown, Noquisiyi appears on maps as early as 1544, and British colonial records first mention it by name in 1718.


At the heart of Noquisyi on the banks of the Little Tennessee River, the town's meeting hall once towered over the landscape, built atop the mound which was formed by Cherokee women carrying baskets of soil to that location. Today, Noquisiyi Mound, the settlement's only surviving landmark, rises as the gateway to Franklin.

Cherokee Cultural Corridor

Cultural Corridor
Project Map

Noquisiyi Cultural District Plan

Nikwasi Initiative has spent the last several months working with Equinox to develop the Noquisiyi Cultural District. Together we have held Community forums, conducted surveys, and talked with key stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive plan. Click here to view the full report. 

View the full report here!

Our Mission


Nikwasi Initiative preserves, protects, and promotes culture and heritage in the original homelands of the Cherokee people.

Our Vision:

Intercultural understanding is universal!

In the News:


Long Man  

September 8th

at 8:00 am

Meet at the

Wolftown Gym

27 Long Branch Rd

Cherokee, NC 28719

Click Logo to learn more


Mountain Xpress

February 25, 2022:

Nikwasi Initiative Efforts Selected for New Smithsonian Traveling Museum!

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