In 1958 the California Rancheria Act terminated many California tribes and substantially diminished tribally held trust lands. Re-recognition processes in the 1980s restored many tribes’ political status but little of their land: 8.5 million acres of former Indian land remain alienated. California-based tribes decided to launch a proactive effort to overcome a 20-year fee-to-trust deadlock, and the California Fee-to-Trust Consortium was born. Since its inception, the Consortium has helped to move 15,274 acres into trust status. The average processing time has decreased from ten years to one. The return of lands has brought families back together; provided a foundation upon which to build the structures of governance, commerce, and cultural importance; and given citizens a place to put down roots and grow.