In February 2020, twenty four California Indian scholars gathered at UC Riverside for two full days to discuss the possibility of forming an association to address the continuing inequities and colonial dynamics in the study, representation, and material situations of California Indian peoples. With the goal of reorienting research (creative, analytical, and otherwise) towards the purposes of our peoples and towards decolonization and sovereignty, we began by discussing the current status of California Indian Studies in relation to academia and our communities. Coming from diverse communities, situations, and disciplines, this was the hard work of getting to know each other and finding common ground across difference. The second day was spent hashing out the contours of a potential association, including writing a vision statement and developing our Branches and Commitments. Over the next year and a half, we held regular meetings virtually (thanks to the pandemic!), both general and special, as we worked collectively to develop what became the California Indian Studies and Scholars Association. On September 14, 2021, we adopted our bylaws and subsequently developed our membership/general assembly.