Gaston & Catawba

Catawba Reservation to get technology center

The Catawba Indian Reservation is hosting an open house 2-5 p.m. today for their new Technology Achievement Center.

The facility is part of Hope and Harmony for Humanity, a national, grant-based initiative to bring technology access and training to Native People living in rural and remote areas. The Catawba Center is one of five to open across the nation in 2008.

The center is housed downstairs at the tribe's Long House and features 11 computers with Internet access and will provide education and training for Catawba tribal members of all ages.

Chief Donald Rogers joked that “smoke signals can only go so far” but this technology center will go a long ways in providing much needed computer skills for the tribe.

The program is a result of a partnership involving IBM, the Native American Chamber of Commerce, Seniornet, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Today, a ceremonial prayer and welcome will be at 2 p.m.; a ribbon-cutting and tour at 3 p.m. and community celebration at 4 p.m. The center will officially open Monday. For more information, call the Catawba Indian Nation at 803-366-4792.