Cherokee may regain control of sacred mound after 200 years

The Nikwasi Mound dates back 800 to 1,000 years and is believed to have been built by the ancestors of the Cherokee tribe. (Nikwasi Initiative Photo )

FRANKLIN, N.C.- Ownership of an ancient mound in North Carolina may return in part to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, two centuries after European settlers took the land.

News outlets report the Franklin town council voted this month to move forward with plans to deed control of the Nikwasi Mound to the non-profit Nikwasi Initiative. The town currently controls the land, but the transfer would split control among the town, the tribe, Macon County and Mainspring Conservation Trust.

Franklin Vice Mayor Barbara McRae says the move is an opportunity to “reverse that wrong” by allowing the tribe some representation in the mound’s management. Calling the plan “amazing,” Cherokee representative Juanita Wilson says nobody would lose anything.

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources says the mound was built around 1000 A.D.

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