The seeds for future harvests lie in the fruit from seasons past.


Collecting Seeds

Planting Seeds

Setting Seeds


\ · ʹpĕ \


n  [Hawaiian]  loc. behind

learning from the past

acting in the present

building for the future



place-based knowledge and

multiple ways of knowing through

research and education.


educational and social practice that

builds equity, educational opportunity,

and community.


praxis and policies that advance

equity, justice, biocultural diversity,

and community wellbeing.














Ma Hope Institute ( · ʹpĕ) is a place-based and community-engaged research institute in Western Montana working to foster and ensure healthy futures for children, youth, and communities by honoring, perpetuating, and extending placed-based knowledge and bio-cultural diversity through research, education, youth development, and social action/advocacy.







I ka ma mua, ka ma hope.

(Hawaiian proverb)

In the time that is in front, the time that is behind.



In Hawaiian, the past is referred to as Ka mamua, or “the time in front or before.”  Whereas the future is Ka mahope, or “the time which comes after or behind.”  It is as if the Hawaiian stands firmly in the present, with his back to the future, and his eyes fixed upon the past, seeking historical answers for present-day dilemmas.



Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa, 1992












Places of Hope


Successful inner-city organizations present themselves in relation to no social institution or social problem.  They explain themselves simply as “for youth.”  We call them places of hope.


Our research shows that a variety of neighborhood-based programs work as long as there is an interaction between the program and its youth that results in those youth’s treating the program as a personal resource and a bridge to a hopeful future.


Milbrey McLaughlin, Merita Irby, and Juliet Langman.  Urban Sanctuaries: 

     Neighborhood Organizations in the Lives and Futures of Inner-City Youth.
















Ma Hope Institute