By: Jessi Stone, August 28, 2019
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.
“What a great day that has been a long time coming,” Bob McCollum, a Nikwasi Initiative board member, said to the crowd gathered at Big Bear Shelter Saturday morning.
The day many thought would never come finally arrived in early May when the Franklin Town Council unanimously approved signing over the Nikwasi Mound deed to Nikwasi Initiative — a nonprofit entity representing the town, Macon County, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Mainspring Conservation Trust.
“Think about for a few minutes the history that has taken place on this small patch of earth here, the culture that has been here for thousands of years, all of the events that have transpired right here at Nikwasi,” McCollum said. “And where we are today and where we will go in the future.”
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