Rocky Boy Tribe
Chippewa Indians of
This settlement is located along the southwestern shores of Flathead Lake. It is one of possibly four settlements which are predominantly Kootenai settlements on the Flathead Reservation. In the 2010 census, the population of Elmo, Montana was 180. Native Americans (most being Kootenai) accounted for 73% of the settlements population. Whites accounted for 22% of the population. Mixed bloods and Hispanics accounted for 4% of the population of Elmo. The small cdp or census designated place of Elmo, covers 0.3 sq. mi.
What is very suspicious about this cdp is the percentage of the cdp's population which lives below the poverty line. Evidently 96% of the citizens of Elmo live under the poverty line. That makes Elmo one of the poorest communities in the United States. Elmo is only one of maybe 20 predominantly Native American settlements on the Flathead Reservation. There are a total of 100 housing units in the cdp of Elmo, with around 73 occupied. It gives the cdp an average household size of 2.4 persons per housing unit which is way below normal for Chippewa settlements, especially poor ones. It is too low for a cdp which has 96% of its citizens living below the poverty line. Most likely the citizens of Elmo are helping each other by sharing housing and income. The population of Elmo is obviously much higher than 180.
Elmo obviously has almost no business establishments. The citizens of Elmo possibly face extreme discrimination from the whites because so few of the cdp's residents are employed. Dayton, which is a few miles away, has no one living under the poverty line, and Big Arm, which is also only a few miles away, only has 8% of it's population living under the poverty line. Polson is only 12 miles away. Other predominantly Indian settlements are doing much better than Elmo. Old Agency has 53% of it's residents living below the poverty line, while Turtle Lake has 54% of it's residents living below the poverty line.
With a poverty level reaching almost 100%, Elmo is ranked as the 8th poorest community in the United States. Of the 10 poorest communities, 5 are located on Indian Reservations. And Allen and Wounded Knee, which are both located on the Pine Ridge Reservation, are the two which are poorer than Elmo. Elmo is the third poorest community on any Indian Reservation. Since the Flathead Reservation has a white population which is three times higher than that of the Native American population, it may mean the whites are discriminating against the Kootenai.
Elmo does have a zip code which is 59915. It has an elevation of 2,917 feet above sea level. With the resorts around the Elmo region you would think the citizens of Elmo would be much better off. Elmo is situated along the western shores of Big Arm Bay. About 2 miles to the east is the Wild Horse Hideaway resort and about 1 mile to the southeast of Elmo, are numerous housing units which are used by vacationers and a few permanent residents. Big Arm State Park is located in that area. Elmo is 3 miles northwest of the Kootenay settlement of Big Arm. Big Arm is better off financially because of the resort it is adjacent to. Below are several pictures of Elmo, Flathead Reservation.