The iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture (TILC) is responsible for safeguarding iTaukei culture and heritage. In that regard, it updates and edits entries into the iTaukei monolingual Dictionary. It is also custodian of significant iTaukei records such as iTaukei dialects from the fourteen (14) provinces. An important program of the Institute is the culture mapping of the 1,171 villages in the 14 Provinces of Fiji. This exercise is focused on recording all traditional knowledge and expressions of culture significant to the iTaukei but more importantly, it is for the purpose of addressing issues such as intellectual property.
The Institute was initially formed as the Fijian Dictionary Project funded by renowned actor Raymond Burr and the American-Fiji Foundation in 1974. The Government later funded the project and in 1986, the Great Council of Chiefs, with Cabinets' endorsement renamed the iTaukei Dictionary Project as the iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture. The Institute was then charged with the following responsibilities:
i. completion of the iTaukei Monolingual Dictionary
ii. safeguarding and preservation of iTaukei Culture
iii. research and documentation of all iTaukei dialects from the 14 Provinces.
Since its establishment, the iTaukei Institute of Language & Culture has grown and developed, enhancing its responsibilities above. The Monolingual Dictionary was completed and the first edition was printed in 2007. Since then, the Institute has been updating and editing new entries for future editions.
The Institute facilitates the study and development of iTaukei Language and Culture. These are continuously addressed through the formulation of appropriate policies and programs for the researching, documenting, preserving, promoting and disseminating information on all facets of iTaukei Language & Culture. This role has also been enhanced through the establishment of a Resource Centre on iTaukei literatures, books and other printed materials, photographs, audio and visual tapes.
To encourage the preservation and appreciation for iTaukei cultural values and traditions, the Institute hosts a Weekly Radio Program, Na Noda Vosa, on FBC (Fiji Broadcasting Commission); it produces a quarterly iTaukei newsletter titled Lialiaci; and regularly conducts community workshops.
Under the 'National Inventory for Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture’ project the institute is mandated to undertake the “Cultural Mapping Program” in the 14 Provinces.
The Institute collaborates with its partners in the cultural sector locally and internationally to safeguard the tangible and intangible cultural heritage under the UNESCO convention on ICH (Indigenous Culture & Heritage), ILO convention 169 and UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People.