‘Auwai are irrigation ditches developed by Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) to enable sustainable, prolific, wetland taro cultivation. This article traces the decline of ‘auwai and lo‘i kalo (wetland taro fields) alongside the loss of Kanaka Maoli control of our national school system, both driven by a shift in the dominant economic system and sealed by the shock of United States (US) occupation. Drawing on oral history interviews with teachers, and on Corntassel’s notion of “sustainable self-determination” (2008), I tell the story of current efforts to rebuild ‘auwai and lo‘i through a partnership between a Hawaiian culture based public charter school and the nearby state university. This rebuilding provides a metaphor for educators’ efforts to restore pathways of cultural knowledge transmission against continued imperialism. I argue for simultaneous, overlapping efforts to reform education and to rehabilitate the economic and ecological systems that will again allow us to feed ourselves and our ‘aina (land, particularly in food production). Indigenous education must engage in transforming the larger political economic structures that organize our relations with the natural resources.