Nikwasi Mound

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, rises up from downtown Franklin.

Cultural Corridor

A collaborative effort by Nikwasi Initiative, Mainspring Conservation Trust and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that aims to preserve, protect and promote important Cherokee cultural landmarks and historic sites along the Little Tennessee River.

Our Projects

Cowee Mound

Upriver from Nikwasi, along the banks of the Little Tennessee River in Macon County, the town of Cowee was once a thriving Cherokee community, spanning more than a mile on both sides of the river. At its center was Cowee Mound, atop which Cowee's council house once sat. 


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.

© 2020 Nikwasi Initiative