BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The Montana Indian Education Association honored Governor Brian Schweitzer Friday in Bozeman for his leadership in Indian education.

Several prominent members of the Indian community, including former Carol Juneau, a former Montana Senator, spoke about the impact Schweitzer has had on Indian students and their educations.

Schweitzer addressed the large crowd as well and mentioned the importance of education for Native Americans, to bring up the startling 50% unemployment rate in the Indian community.

"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.

The Governor referred to his own upbringing as an example of how Montanans can have success in education.

"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.