This paper is based on ethnographic research undertaken by the author during 1987 in the ‘Atenisi Institute – an indigenous educational institution in Tonga. After outlining 'Atenisi's establishment and development over the past 25 years, I describe the two main divisions of the 'Atenisi Institute - the High School and the University. The major emphasis in the High School discussion is on how the students are taught, while in the University discussion the emphasis is on what is taught. The central and unifying theme of the discussion is that of struggle - educational, political, social, cultural and financial. What I have written is based on information gathered as a participant-observer - as teacher, student, community member; on an archive of writings made available to me and most heavily on the actual words of students and staff.