The Catawba Nation iswa Early Learning Center
The Catawba Nation, iswa Early Learning Center is working with NLI to naturalize their outdoor play and learning environment and make it more expressive of the iswa culture (iswa means “river people”– of the Catawba River). A combined NLI and State of South Carolina project team recently visited the Catawba Nation Reservation in Rock Hill, SC, to work with Center staff and tribal representatives to collaborate on the design process. An evening Community Gathering discussed iswa cultural traditions that could be supported by design of the physical environment. The following day, a Design Workshop brought together the project team, Center Staff, and tribal members to work on three alternative site layouts (for later assessment and combination into a single scheme for review and design progression). Following the Workshop, cultural immersion continued with a visit to the Catawba Cultural Center and a hike along the interpretive forest trail to the Catawba River.