Sacred mound was taken by NC settlers. Cherokee just regained control 200 years later

By Mark Price, The Charlotte Observer


After months of bitter debate that resulted in a lawsuit, the town council of Franklin, North Carolina, voted this week to transfer ownership of an ancient mound to a nonprofit partially controlled by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.


The Nikwasi Mound is believed to have been built 1,000 years ago by ancestors of the tribe, which lost control of the site to settlers in 1819, according to the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The mound sits today at the center of Franklin, surrounded by development.


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The Nikwasi Initiative, a collaboration including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and neighboring communities, is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture and heritage of people and places on the landscape that was traditionally the Cherokee homeland.

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.

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