The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin is within Cherokee ancestral lands in western North Carolina, specifically the area known as the Middle Towns during the historic period. The Cherokees, under duress following a series of military attacks by British and then American forces determined to clear the area of Cherokees, ceded this area to the United States in the Treaty of 1819. Under the treaty’s terms, individual Cherokees had the option to claim homesteads within the ceded land and remain. When the state of North Carolina laid out tracts to sell to settlers in 1820, however, these homesteads were ignored and most Cherokee residents further displaced.

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

Today there are three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians ( occupies a small area in western NC, a portion of the 1835 cession which the tribe has bought back. The Cherokee Nation ( and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma ( are in what is now Oklahoma. Given the complex Cherokee diaspora, communities and individuals of Cherokee descent live in many other places as well.

We humbly acknowledge the millennia of Cherokee land stewardship here and elsewhere, and give respect to Cherokee elders past and present.
(Land Acknowledgement written by Dr. G. Rebecca Dobbs, a scholar of human geography and GIS and a member of the Fellowship.)

Land Loves Us Back
Art by Molly Costello

Click on the image to learn more about the UUA’s commitment to land acknowledgement and beyond as part of living in right relationship wth indigenous people.