Nikwasi was a Cherokee town situated in the heart of present-day Franklin, North Carolina. 

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

At the center of Nikwasi, on the banks of the Little Tennessee River, the town's meeting hall once towered over the landscape, built atop a manmade mound. Today, Nikwasi Mound, the settlement's only surviving landmark, can be found in downtown Franklin.

In May 2019, Franklin Town Council voted to deed the mound to Nikwasi Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the region's important cultural sites. 

Nikwasi Initiative considers its responsibility to the sanctity of Nikwasi Mound to be of the utmost import, and will always work to preserve its honor. 

Nikwasi Mound


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

Using engaged partnerships, Nikwasi Initiative focuses on developing cultural resources for diverse projects from the nationally significant Cultural Corridor along the Little Tennessee River, to restoration of heritage apple species, and widespread cultural collaboration.

© 2020 Nikwasi Initiative