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Our Partners

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Cherokee is a sovereign nation, meaning it has its own laws, elections, government, institutions, and the like. Though it certainly has relationships with the United States federal government and the North Carolina state government that are vitally important, students and the general population may be interested to know that the Cherokees are self-governed and autonomous.

Located in Cherokee, North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians were once part of a much larger Cherokee Nation population. However, when the Trail of Tears was mandated, and forced removal and relocation were directed by the US government and then President Andrew Jackson, the Cherokee Tribe became divided into what is known today as the Cherokee Nation and United Kituwah Band, located in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band, made up of those who remained and rebuilt within North Carolina’s Qualla Boundary (sometimes called the Cherokee Indian Reservation).

Visit the Official Website of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

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As one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina, Macon County strives to serve our citizens, business community and those visiting the area with the most up-to-date resources possible.


Macon County Government is dedicated to continually seeking ways to improve the services we provide to our community. Our website is one of those services.

This online portal to Macon County North Carolina Government will allow you to learn more about our agencies, download official forms, search for map, open a business or visit us, it’s all here at

Visit the Official Website of Macon County, North Carolina

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Cherokee Preservation Foundation is an independent nonprofit foundation established in 2000 as part of the Tribal-State Compact amendment between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the State of North Carolina. The Foundation is funded by the EBCI from gaming revenues generated by the Tribe; it is not associated with any for-profit gaming entity and is a separately functioning organization independent of the Tribal government. It works to improve the quality of life of the EBCI and strengthen the western North Carolina region by balancing Cherokee ways with the pursuit of new opportunities.

The Foundation focuses on cultural preservation, economic development, job creation, and environmental preservation and is an engine for rural community development on the Qualla Boundary and the surrounding Haywood, Jackson, Clay, Macon, Graham, Swain and Cherokee counties.

Visit the Cherokee Preservation Foundation website

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Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians.
More than 80 years ago, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation began investing in the quality of life of all North Carolinians. Today, millions of diverse experiences and opinions are shaping our state and our communities in complex ways. We believe this growing diversity continues to make North Carolina a state of great promise. By becoming more flexible and adaptable as a funder, while simultaneously adhering to enduring values like fairness, dignity, integrity, and equity, we are working with others to pursue a vision where we all thrive.

Visit the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation website


The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is the regional steward of living Appalachian traditions in North Carolina. We honor our elders and invite new generations to explore music, craft, foodways, the outdoors, and the native wisdom that all have their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Explore our map or plan your next visit.

Visit the Blue Ridge National Heritage website


The Wilderness Society is an American non-profit land conservation organization that is dedicated to protecting natural areas and federal public lands in the United States. They advocate for the designation of federal wilderness areas and other protective designations, such as for national monuments. They support balanced uses of public lands, and advocate for federal politicians to enact various land conservation and balanced land use proposals. The Wilderness Society also engages in a number of ancillary activities, including education and outreach, and hosts one of the most valuable collections of Ansel Adams photographs at their headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Visit the Wilderness Society website

Dogwood Health Trust is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities across Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust is the successor foundation of the nonprofit Mission Health System.

Visit Dogwood Health Trust's website


Welcome to the Town of Franklin. We invite you to explore our website for the latest information for residents, businesses, and visitors.

Information is updated on a regular basis with announcements and other events happening in and around Franklin. Town hall meeting agendas & minutes, Town sign & zoning ordinances, GIS mapping and other useful information can also be found on

Visit the Town Of Franklin's website

We are a firm that likes to color outside the lines – addressing the challenges communities face with creative solutions. We like to look at a cardboard box and see the opportunity to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. While we believe many communities face similar challenges in economic development, what sets us apart is our approach to helping you overcome those challenges.

Visit the Creative EDC website


The Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1978 to build a permanent pool of charitable capital for the 18 counties of Western North Carolina including the Qualla Boundary. We work with individuals, families and corporations to create and manage charitable funds and make grants to nonprofits or public agencies in our region.

Visit the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina's website


The Duke Energy Foundation is proud to power the vitality of our communities through philanthropy focused on vibrant economies; climate resiliency; and justice, equity, and inclusion.


Over $30 million in charitable grants each year are the driver behind impact and improvements in our communities. Additionally, our employees and retirees volunteered more than 100,000 hours with nonprofit organizations last year, contributing $3 million in estimated value of their volunteer time.

Visit Duke Energy Foundation's website

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Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, this quaint southwestern North Carolina town offers a change of pace and a never-ending supply of activities for the entire family. Franklin, NC was recently featured in Where to Retire Magazine and named one of Retirement Lifestyles Magazine’s Top 10 places to retire.

Franklin, NC is large enough to offer almost anything you need, yet small enough to offer the highest quality of life. Nature’s wonders, history, and heritage, as well as other interesting and unique diversions, make Franklin, NC the ideal place for a relaxing, refreshing getaway – truly the home of mountain treasures and simple pleasures.

Visit the Franklin Chamber of Commerce website

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Appalachian Community Capital is a non-profit community development financial institution (or CDFI) that is focused on attracting new sources of capital for small businesses, including minority and women-owned business owners, in underserved places in Appalachia.

Visit the Appalachian Community Capital website


As the westernmost institution in the University of North Carolina System, WCU attracts students from around the globe for its nationally ranked programs, affordability through NC Promise and exceptional student support. Recognized as a top adventure college and surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, students can explore the region's vast natural diversity through unrivaled experiential learning and recreational activities. Offering residential, hybrid and online programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees at our main campus in Cullowhee, WCU in Asheville located at Biltmore Park, and wherever students are through distance learning. 

Visit Western North Carolina University's website


Kituwah LLC (pronounced gi-du-wa) Was established to create or acquire profitable and sustainable businesses and investments that provide substantial opportunities for the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Visit Kituawah LLCs website


The Tennessee Valley Authority provides electricity for 153 local power companies serving 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states, as well as directly to 58 large industrial customers and federal installations. We don't get taxpayer funding; rather, our revenues come from sales of electricity. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and regional governments with their economic development efforts.

Visit Tennessee Valley Authority's website


For more than 70 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has led the movement to save America’s historic places. A privately funded nonprofit organization, we work to save America's historic sitestell the full American storybuild stronger communities; and invest in preservation's future.

Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation wesbite

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We are a leading provider of employee benefits in the U.S., helping people protect what they love about their lives. We also serve a large number of individual life insurance Clients. Our company MFS Investment Management has clients across the U.S. and the world and we also have growing Sun Life Investment Management businesses in the U.S.

Visit the Sun Life website


Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year. But our work doesn't stop there.

We are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close-to-home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.

Taking care of the national parks and helping Americans take care of their communities is a job we love, and we need—and welcome—your help and support.

Visit the National Park Service website


The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museumeducation, and research complex. They are a community of learning and an opener of doors. Join them on a voyage of discovery. Explore their vast digital resources and learn online.

Visit the Smithsonian website

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Located in the heart of the Southern Blue Ridge, the mission of Mainspring Conservation Trust is to conserve the waters, forests, farms and heritage of the Upper Little Tennessee and Hiwassee River Valleys. We are dedicated to three core initiatives: conserve the land, restore the water, and connect the people to these valuable resources.

Mainspring has helped conserve more than 29,000 acres in this nationally significant region.

Visit Mainspring Conservation Trust's website


The Physicians Committee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Washington, DC. Our efforts are dramatically changing the way doctors treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. By putting prevention over pills, doctors are empowering their patients to take control of their own health.

Visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website


Friends of the Greenway is a member organization formed to supplement and support efforts in the care and enhancement of the Little Tennessee River Greenway in Macon County, NC.


This scenic trail is owned and maintained by the County. FROG played an integral part in the establishment of the trail and continues to provide volunteers to assist with trail upkeep and to raise funds for Greenway-related enhancement projects. 

Visit the Friends of the Greenway website

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Croatan Institute is an independent, nonprofit research and action institute. Their mission is to build social equity and ecological resilience by leveraging finance to create pathways to a just economy.

Visit the Croatan Institute website


MountainTrue envisions thriving communities in our mountain region that are connected to and help sustain both each other and our natural environment. To achieve this, MountainTrue fosters and empowers residents throughout the region to engage in community planning, policy and project advocacy, and on-the-ground projects.

Visit the MountainTrue website


The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development partnership entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.


Visit the Appalachian Regional Commission website


Invest Appalachia is a regional blended capital platform, designed to accelerate and expand community investment across Central Appalachia. IA builds on our region’s existing strengths, working side-by-side with partners who are rooted in place and understand their community.


Visit the Invest Appalachia website


Serving Western North Carolina since 1989, Clark & Co. is a professional, progressive landscape company, providing a complete range of exceptional services. We are dedicated to enhancing landscape environments while providing complete customer satisfaction. For more information, contact Clark & Co.


Visit the Clark & Co website

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Building a resilient future together through food and community.

A foragable community is a collective of community organizations working to increase public participation in local foodways to enhance the sustainability and resilience of their region.


Visit the Foragable Community website


The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF)

connects people to places. TCLF educates and engages the public to make our shared landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards.


Visit The Cultural Landscape Foundation's website

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