Among prominent members who spoke of Schweitzer’s impact on Native American students were Carol Juneau, a former Montana Senator. While addressing the crowd, Schweitzer mentioned how important Native education is to lowered the unemployment rate, which hovers at around 50 percent in the Montana Indian community, reported NBC Montana.
“The highest unemployment in Montana is in Indian country and until we can get more people graduating from high school and college in Indian country, there’s going to continue to be high unemployment. So education, it really is the key for creating higher paying jobs in Montana,” he said.
Schweitzer discussed his upbringing as an example.
“I’m of course a big supporter in education and the reason I’m a big supporter in education is because it gives every family an opportunity to achieve. Neither one of my parents even graduated from high school, yet they sent all six of their children to college. That is the American success story and we want more families to be successful,” he said, according to NBC Montana.