Arlee, Montana

Arlee Montana, is placed in the shadow of the Mission Mountains, there is nothing that can distract  that grandeur.  It is a very small town, but alive with the history of its’ ancestors. You can not be in Arlee and not recognize that this was the home of the Salish.

It is worth a visit here to experience a recent project produced by the students. It is titled “Arlee High School – Montana History” and is a reminder of how the tribes can keep culture alive and well and welcome others into the circle.

Life in Arlee is fairly laid back. Many people make the 25 minute (or 40 minutes in bad weather) to Missoula to find work. There are not a lot of jobs in Arlee. The population dangles between 900 to 1000 people.

It became an official town with a post office in 1885. The town is named after a Native American tribal leader. It translates roughly to “red skies”.

Arlee Schools go from Kindergarten to 12th grade. For a town so small the schools offer a wide variety of educational opportunities. The National Johnson O’Malley  Association Board recognized the Arlee schools for their exemplary  Indian Education program. There are after school programs and sports programs for students as well.

If you are looking for groceries in Arlee, “Wilson Foods” is your option. They will be happy to try and get anything you need.

There are some really fun events that take place in Arlee every year. Visitors show up and the population triples. These festivals and events are often advertised on the main road, it worth taking the cutoff and give it a go.

The Chocolate Festival is held in February and the children that participate in the after school program are the stars. Who knows more about chocolate than children?

A Pow wow is something that should be on everyone’s’ bucket list. There is nothing like it. No where else can you experience the music, the costumes and a greater understanding of the Native American culture than at a Pow wow.  Go to Arlee, Montana and experience one of the best.

To have a real understanding of the town you can visit and get a feel for the people and standards by visiting their web site. It is uniquely different every time you visit the site.  It becomes a habit to see what is making the news and what the concerns and celebrations are in Arlee. The town web cam gives you a great view of the Montana sky line.



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