Residents appear to back return of mound to Eastern Cherokees

The Nikwasi Mound in Franklin, North Carolina. This 2012 photo shows dead grass that was caused when the town sprayed herbicide on the mound. Photo from Scott McKie Brings Plenty / Cherokee One Feather

It wasn't on the ballot on Tuesday but residents of town of Franklin in North Carolina say the sacred Nikwasi Mound should be returned to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Smoky Mountain News asked residents about the site as they cast their votes on election day. The sample was small but 7 out of 12 people said the tribe should own the mound.

“If they want to maintain it, they should, if they took 100 percent responsibility for it,” Jerry Stillwell told the paper.“It’s their ancestry.”

The tribe has repeatedly called for ownership of the mound. But the town last month said it was only considering a management role for the tribe.

The tribe has accused the town of failing to take care of the site -- in 2012, the town sprayed herbicide on the 6,000 square-foot mound and refused to apologize.

Get the Story:
Franklin residents debate Nikwasi (The Smoky Mountain News 11/5)

An Opinion:
Rachel Truesdell: Big mistake not to return Nikwasi Mound (The Smoky Mountain News 11/5)

Related Stories
Town still won't transfer sacred mound to Eastern Cherokees (10/08)
Eastern Cherokees pass resolution to seek return of sacred site (09/05)
Eastern Cherokees gain support for acquisition of sacred site (9/25)
Eastern Cherokees still hoping to acquire sacred Nikwasi Mound (8/8)

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