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The Nikwasi Initiative, a collaboration of the EBCI and neighboring communities, is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the sense of place of the Nikwasi Mound and expanding the understanding of the mound and the surrounding region through improved access, interpretation and educational activities.  

Using engaged partnerships, it focuses on developing cultural interpretation resources for the nationally significant Cultural Corridor from Cherokee to Franklin and to the headwaters of the Little Tennessee River, and encouraging sustainable economic growth of the entire corridor area.

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Town can keep mound and support initiative

By Bob Scott, guest columnist in Smoky Mountain News

Five years ago, as mayor, I was placed in the position of defending the Town of Franklin against undue criticism of the town’s stewardship of the Nikwasi Mound. I am again in that position as the recently formed 501 C(3) Nikwasi Initiative has asked the Town to deed the Mound to the Initiative to “give the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians joint ownership with us and ensure that, in perpetuity, they share equally with us in its care and preservation.” (I am not sure whether the ‘us’ is the town or the Initiative).


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