Sacred Sites: Tennessee’s Chickamunga, Moccassin Bend and Fewkes Mounds


No longer a single day, the 2011 National Day of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places began this past Friday, on June 17, and will continue until Tuesday, the 21st.

American Indian communities have taken it upon themselves to give prayer at sites across the country and educated the public on the importance of respecting, and maintaining, these historic and sacred places.

The 2011 Tennessee Day of Prayer to Protect Native Sacred Places will be observed this Sunday, June 19th, with the first event in Chattanooga at the Chickamunga Mound at 6:27 a.m. at sunrise. The street address is 3701 Amnicola Highway, Chickamauga Creek Riverwalk Park, Chattanooga. Chickamauga Mound is one of two remaining Woodland-period mounds in Chattanooga.

“The Sacred Sites Day of Prayer is an annual event around the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (14.5 hours) north of equator, “ said Tom Kunesh, a caretaker of Chickamunga mound and a member of the Advisory Council on Tennessee Indian Affairs. “This will be a time for prayer, singing and remembrance to honor our native American Sacred Places and their protection. We will have a time to eat together and fellowship.”

The gatherings in Chattanooga and Nashville are to remember Citico Mound and all the other Native sites along the Little Tennessee river which have been removed and destroyed. The Citico mound is located in Chattanooga, where a large portion of the mound was leveled in the construction of the Riverside Drive in 1914.

The second gathering in Chattanooga will be at Moccasin Bend Mound at Noon. Moccasin Bend Mound is the other remaining Woodland-period mounds in Chattanooga.

In Nashville, the gathering will take place at 1:00 p.m., at the Fewkes Mound Site, an ancient five-mound complex built by a late Mississippian culture at Primm Park, in Brentwood.

For the Chattanooga gatherings, contact: Tom Kunesh at tom@kunesh.net or 423-781-0197. For the Nashville gathering, contact: Melba Checote Eads at melbaceads@dtccom.net or 615-210-7276.