Pablo was named for Michel Pablo, a Flathead Chief, rancher and stockman who, by raising bison, is one of the individuals responsible for saving the bison from extinction. Walking Coyote, a Pen d’Oreille Indian hunting in the Milk River country, brought a few bison calves back to the Flathead Valley and sold them to Pablo and Charles Allard. They were the nucleus of the herd that now roams the National Bison Range. (from Cheney’s Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)
Pablo is the headquarters for the Flathead Indian Reservation and lies at the base of the Mission Mountains south of Flathead Lake. Government offices for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes moved to Pablo in the late 1970s because of its central location on the Flathead Reservation. The Salish-Kootenai College was established in 1977. It has a library that holds an extensive collection of history books about the Native American Tribes.
Of special interest are the Ninepipe and Pablo Wildlife Refuges, Arlee Powwow in early July and Standing Arrow Pow Wow in Elmo in mid-July, as well as the Sqelix’u/Aqtsmaknik Cultural Center, which takes its name from the Salish-Kootenai languages meaning “the People’s.” Reflecting the people’s desire to establish a center aimed at promoting, preserving and enhancing Salish-Kootenai culture, The People’s Center was officially established in the fall of 1990. The facility lies north of Pablo on Highway 93 and includes exhibits, collections of Salish-Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille people, a learning center and gift shop. Educational day programs are available. The center tells the native story and shows the way of life as it has passed from generation to generation.
Provided by: Montana’s Official State Travel Site
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,814 people, 622 households, and 475 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 372.5 people per square mile (143.8/km²). There were 674 housing units at an average density of 138.4 per square mile (53.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 43.44% White, 0.17% African American, 51.16% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 4.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.31% of the population.
There were 622 households out of which 47.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 22.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.5% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 38.5% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $26,771, and the median income for a family was $28,615. Males had a median income of $20,982 versus $19,907 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $14,672. About 22.7% of families and 28.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.2% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.