With Trump, the situation is different. He only launched his Native American Coalition last week but didn't offer any policies, goals or ideas for Indian Country.
"With president-elect Trump, all we know of his record on tribal issues are statements he made in the 1990s from the gaming hearing," noted Cladoosby, referring to the real estate mogul's now legendary appearance on Capitol Hill back in 1993.
Despite the uncertainties, NCAI, as a non-partisan organization, is looking for ways in which tribes can navigate the new political world and maybe even get some things done. Jacqueline Pata, the organization's executive director, said unity will play an important role going forward.
"When we can come together, we are really strong," Pata said on the webinar. "We really make differences happen."
One of the biggest priorities will be getting tribal citizens named to top positions in the new administration. That usually means the leaders of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, the Administration for Native
Americans and the National Indian
But Obama raised the bar more than any other president and tribes want to see that record continue. He created the first-ever Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs post at the White House, a position held by three successive Native women. He nominated Hillary Tompkins, a member of the Navajo Nation, to serve as the top legal official at the Department of the Interior and she was the first Native person ever in that job.
"We will continue to push for Native Americans in the administration in every place we can," Pata said.
The White House on YouTube: President Obama Meets With President-Elect Trump
Trump has launched greatagain.gov, a mirror of his campaign slogan, for the transition effort. While it's still a bare-bones site, tribal citizens interested in the more than 4,000 political appointments will be able to submit resumes and connect with the incoming team.
For Interior, which houses the BIA, the NIGC and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Trump has tapped attorney David Bernhardt as the transition lead. Bernhardt once served as Solicitor at the department and ran its Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs during the Bush administration.
Pata said Bernhardt "has a good working knowledge of Indian Country. So that gives us some reassurances."
Trump's Native American Coalition also has some familiar names although not all are seen as friendly ones. One of the most notable is Ross Swimmer, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation who drew widespread opposition in Indian Country when he returned to Washington, D.C., to run the Office of the Special Trustee for George W. Bush.
Most of the other members of the coalition, however, are unknowns, lacking name recognition as leaders in their respective communities. But that doesn't mean they aren't seen as potential talent for Trump, based on the experience of a Navajo veteran who once worked for the future president in New York City.
The White House on YouTube: President Obama Delivers a Statement