Volume 42, Number 4, Winter  2004

The Economic Status of American Indians in Montana


Paul E. Polzin and Dennis O'Donnell

New data from the 2000 Census allows us a first-ever comprehensive assessment of American Indians living on reservations. In Montana, there were about 65,945 self-identified American Indians, or about 7 percent of the population. About 57 percent lived on one of the state’s seven Indian reservations. This article looks at the economic status of Montana’s Indian population, provides an explanation for different measures of unemployment, and analyzes attitudes and opinions about work-related topics.

Interview with Governor Brian Schweitzer


Montana Business Quarterly Staff

Bureau staff discussed a wide variety of issues with Governor Brian Schweitzer including economic issues facing Montana, job opportunities, rising health-care costs, and attracting more businesses to our state.

Education Funding

Regional/Historic Perspectives


Curt Nichols

National and regional data show when school spending and teacher salaries are viewed in light of income levels, Montana compares quite favorably. This is not sufficient evidence to conclude that our schools are funded at higher or lower levels than citizens prefer, that sschools are operating efficiently or effectively, or that our teacher salaries are high enough to attract sufficient qualified teachers. However, it does suggest that there is not a general failure to adequately finance public schools vis-à-vis other states. This article provides an in-depth look at education funding in Montana.