Finding Inspiration in our heritage
North East India is a land of tremendous linguistic and cultural diversity. It is home to more than 200 distinct languages and cultures. Unfortunately, most of these languages and cultures are threatened and face an uncertain future. NEILAC aims to support, preserve and promote the linguistic and cultural diversity of North East India. The Institute takes up both activism and research through its own programs as well as Networking/Collab Interventions to promote languages, dialects and cultures.
What We Do...
NEILAC originated as 'Linguistic and Cultural Institute' (LCI) in October 2020 in Guwahati, and was founded by Dr. Vijay A. D'Souza SJ, as a social commitment initiative supported by the Jesuits of North East India (Kohima region). The initial work of LCI focused on the language revival of the Hrusso Aka people of Arunachal Pradesh, based on Dr. D'Souza's extensive work of 20 years with the Hrusso Aka people and his doctoral training as a linguist at University of Oxford, UK. As the work gathered pace and invitations began to arrive from other tribes of North East India, the Institute was renamed as North Eastern Institute of Language and Culture (NEILAC) in February 2022 and became a Cultural and Linguistic Research and Development wing of the AMAR BAANI TRUST, a legal entity registered under Indian Trust Registration Act 1882 vide Trust Deed No.517, Serial No. 2663, having its registered office situated at Jagriti, 1st floor, GMCH Road, Christian Basti, Guwahati – 781005, Assam in the District of Kamrup Metro.
Indigenous people's worldviews and their relationship to their environment are encoded in their languages, mythologies, oral histories, and rituals. The thread that holds these narratives together are indigenous languages. Unfortunately, the languages of North East India are under severe threat. Many indigenous communities here have lost their languages and ancient knowledge systems. In many other communities, the elders, who are fast passing away, are the last link to their past. NEILAC strives to document, preserve, study and promote these narratives and languages.