Column: Cherokees haven't forgotten pull of Kituwah birthplace
"Kituwah was abandoned in 1776 after Gen. William Rutherford's troops drove the Cherokee from their towns all along the Tuckaseegee River. More than 50 years later, President Andrew Jackson completed the destruction, exiling the Southeastern tribes to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears.

But the memory of Kituwah lingered on. Ethnologist James Mooney recorded Civil War soldiers reported seeing smoke furling from the sacred mound before generations of farmers plowed it away.

Flush with casino earnings, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians bought the 300-acre property in 1998, returning Kituwah to the tribe's possession.

Now the Cherokee and other residents worry the sacred land will be disturbed again. Duke Energy has proposed building a electric substation and massive transmission lines across the river and U.S. 74 on the ridges overlooking Kituwah. Discussions are still underway between the tribe and the utility, trying to reach an agreement that provides necessary electric service to the growing Qualla Boundary as well as respect for sacred ground."

Get the Story:
Dale Neal: Cherokee roots run deep, and span not just the continent but the planet (The Asheville Citizen-Times 7/11)

Related Stories:
Duke Energy in talks to stop development near Cherokee site (6/9)
Duke Energy wants to restart work by Cherokee birthplace (5/12)
Petition forces decision on project by Cherokee sacred site (4/6)
Petition takes aim at development by Cherokee birthplace (4/1)
County delays development near Cherokee sacred site (03/16)
Cherokee tribes discuss sacred site with company (2/19)
Editorial: Don't put electrical station near sacred site (2/16)
Eastern Cherokees oppose building near site (2/11)