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. 

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. 

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. 

Nikwasi Initiative can proceed without deed

By Bob Scott • Guest columnist

As mayor of Franklin, my duty and loyalty is to the town. With that being said, I will be blunt. Turning the town’s Nikwasi deed over to the Nikwasi Initiative — in my opinion after 17 years’ service to Franklin’s Town Council — is not in the best interest of the town at this time. 

The Archaeology of the Nikwasi Mound

On Tuesday, April 16, the lecture series “Where We Live: History, Nature, and Culture” at Cowee School Heritage Center, will present a program by Dr. Ben Steere on the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin, an important Cherokee cultural site. 

It’s the right time for the Nikwasi Initiative

From the outside looking in, the current Nikwasi Mound disagreement in Franklin seems almost contrived. I mean, do serious people truthfully believe that the volunteers who comprise the Nikwasi Initiative and who are seeking ownership of this historic Native site have any intentions other than honorable ones? 

And, as town board member Joe Collins said so succinctly in the Franklin Press, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a wealthy tribe. Tribal leaders and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation have millions of dollars to invest in preserving Cherokee culture. Turning the mound over to this initiative would do a lot to attract funding, subsequently turning the mound into a significant cultural attraction rather than just an afterthought for a town that has many important issues affecting its taxpayers.

Franklin board hears feedback on Nikwasi’s future

Tensions ran high at Monday night’s Franklin Town Council meeting as the board sat before a packed room of residents there hoping to sway the town one way or another on the future of Nikwasi Mound. 

Town can keep mound and support initiative

By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist

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).

Page 1 of 3
Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.