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!

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

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Unveiling Cowee Mound Signage
Unveiling Cowee Mound Signage

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Notice of Public Input Session Regarding Noquisiyi (Nikwasi) Mound

Please join Nikwasi Initiative and Equinox at a public meeting and share your ideas for a gateway culture district around Noquisiyi (Nikwasi) Mound in Franklin. 

This is a chance for you to learn about the vision for a Noquisiyi Cultural District around the Mound. The district will be a Cherokee cultural center and a gateway to far western North Carolina. It will be a national model of communities sharing across cultures. 

There are several options online and in-person for you to share ideas. We want to hear from you, so please join us at one of these meetings. 

Online Options:

Wednesday, December 1, at 12:00 PM Zoom link:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86851101968 

Thursday, December 2, at 6:30 PM Zoom link:  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84488788613 

In-Person Drop-In Options:

Cherokee - Friday, December 3rd, 4:00 - 5:00 PM at Qualla Boundry Public Library

(810 Acquoni Road - Cherokee)

Franklin - Thursday, December 2nd, 4:30 - 6:00 PM at Macon County Public Library in Conference Room 1 (149 Siler Farm Road - Franklin)

Click for Full Annual Report

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