A woman with vision: Barbara McRae leaves her mark on Macon County

Barbara McRae loved history — learning about it, sharing it with others and making it herself. 

The long-time community organizer lost a long battle with cancer on March 2, but the projects she set in motion in Macon County will live on for generations to come, including the Macon County Women’s History Trail and the Nikwasi Initiative, both of which were created to preserve parts of Appalachian history that have gone untold for generations. 

Nikwasi Initiative changes plans for Franklin property

Nikwasi Initiative, the nonprofit that took over ownership of the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin two years ago, recently announced some new projects planned for the adjacent properties. 

Nikwasi Initiative moves forward with big plans

As November is recognized as Native American Heritage Month, it seemed like a perfect time for Nikwasi Initiative leaders to give Macon County commissioners an update on their long-term vision to bring more awareness to the Nikwasi Mound and other lands that hold cultural significance to the Cherokee people. 

Nikwasi Initiative hires first executive director

Nikwasi Initiative, a new nonprofit established in 2018 with the mission of preserving the Nikwasi Mound in downtown Franklin and expanding access and educational activities, has hired its first executive director. 

Communities celebrate new future of Nikwasi

As Cherokee children joined hands with Macon County residents and led them in a traditional friendship dance in the shadow of the historic Nikwasi Mound in downtown Franklin, it became clear the vision set forth by the Nikwasi Initiative was already playing out before everyone’s eyes. 

Legal action dropped against Franklin

Five Macon County residents are dropping their legal action against the town of Franklin for deeding over the sacred Nikwasi Mound property to nonprofit redevelopment entity Nikwasi Initiative. 

Franklin transfers ownership of Nikwasi Mound

After months of debate, Franklin Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to transfer the deed for Nikwasi Mound over to nonprofit Nikwasi Initiative. 

With title, Nikwasi Initiative can move forward

The volunteer board members of the nonprofit Nikwasi Initiative are appreciative of the public’s interest in our mission and role in development of a cultural corridor extending from south Macon County to the Qualla Boundary. We would like to take this opportunity to go into more detail about the Initiative.

Franklin mayor proposes Nikwasi compromise

Franklin Mayor Bob Scott hopes he can push town council and Nikwasi Initiative board members toward a compromise before a final vote is taken on whether to transfer ownership of the Nikwasi Mound. 

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