Aanjibimaadizing, which means "changing lives" in our Ojibwe language, is a service organization operated as a division of the Mille Lacs Band's Department of Administration. The goals of the program are centered on our mission statement:

To assist our fellow Anishinaabe with education, training, work experiences, cultural participation, and support services to be prosperous and change their life.

Aanjibimaadizing helps to empower participants with an acquired purpose or occupation that will contribute to the well-being of their community and family. Through this, we are able to offer services to a large percentage of our community and work closely with other organizations to help all ages embrace their culture and overcome barriers to sustainability. Our services support obtaining and retaining employment, improving or creating a position of job readiness, and addressing barriers that prevent our clients from leading their best life. We are devoted to the work of guiding gidinawemaaganinaanig (our relatives) to a place of wellness, self-sufficiency, and an anchored identity as Anishinaabe.

Gladys Sam
Central Office Receptionist
Tel: 800-922-4457 or 320-532-7407

Karen Pagnac
Training Manager
Tel: 320-632-4139

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Our goals for 2022 - 2025 are as follows:

  • Create youth mentorship/internship and training opportunities in all Mille Lacs Band districts that will synchronize with Anishinaabe values, for example, servant leadership to look at the well-being of people and community. This will ensure youth have a positive ongoing relationship with tribal government and promote healthy relationships with adults in the community. These opportunities will be measured by the number of youth placed in mentorships/internships and the number of youth who have completed these opportunities. The program anticipates that 50% of all youth placed will complete the internship successfully.
  • Develop Ojibwe language resources, materials, and training to be used long term with Aanjibimaadizing clients and all Mille Lacs Band members to increase the use of language, number of speakers, and improve the health and education of the community holistically. Measured by the number of books, resources, and materials available at the end of this threeyear plan in comparison to current resources. Currently there is one level of Rosetta Stone. We anticipate the launch of at least one more level of Rosetta Stone in the three-year plan period.
  • Build and strengthen our training program in the following areas: outreach to potential clients, emphasis on the importance of gaining new knowledge including digital literacy, which will help in job advancement. In addition, this will help clients see the importance in self-growth, by growing their skills. This will be measured by the number of clients attending trainings or the number of clients gaining employment, thus advancing their careers.
  • Increase indigenous business development of individuals and companies by promoting skills to build human capital, business plans/development and problem solving. Measured by the number people attending small business classes and number of people obtaining a small business development grant.



It is the purpose of Aanjibimaadizing to prepare the members of the MLBO community to contribute to the Mille Lacs Band. While a primary part of this contribution is in the form of employment that helps enrolled members thrive financially, it is of equal importance that MLBO membership reflects the unique history and culture of its people. As such, the Program also recognizes the vital role of education in traditional cultural and linguistic practice which allows those who receive services to contribute across the whole spectrum of membership in the Mille Lacs Band community. In pursuit of this balance the Program will provide Ojibwe cultural and language training which encourages fluency in the Ojibwe language, at the heart of which lie the values and lived experience of MLBO culture as a whole.

Mille Lacs Band members over the age of 62 or over the age of 55 and disabled are eligible for a monthly Supplemental Income benefit based on income need. There are no residency requirements.

Aanjibimaadizing has Community Service Crews in all reservation districts that provide lawn mowing, yard maintenance, limited outdoor home maintenance and walkway snow removal for all Elders living in one of the Reservation Districts. These crews are staffed with Aanjibimaadizing staff and Gotaamigozi Flex Program participants.

Tribal TANF Cash Assistance makes monthly cash payments to families with minor children based on family size and composition. Households must be below 200% of poverty guidelines. These benefits require participating adults to agree and to follow a case plan designed to move them away from assistance and to self-reliance. Cash Assistance has a 60-month lifetime limit.

Emergency Assistance is a one-time per fiscal year payment for participants receiving Cash Assistance and experiencing an extreme financial hardship, typically an eviction or utility shutoff. Future Cash Assistance payments will be made to the landlord or utility.

SNAP helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health. The program provides support to help stretch your household food budget.

Child care assistance helps parents or guardians pay for child care. Aanjibimaadizing can pay child care centers, family child care providers, or non-licensed childcare providers thatprovide child care and meet program requirements. Child Care assistance is also available to Mille Lacs Band Members in the Urban area.

Adult Support Service payments are single payments to vendors to assist participants in overcoming specific, immediate and essential family stabilization or employment related barriers. Participant households must be below 200% of poverty guidelines.

The expenses must:

  • Be specific.
  • The participant must be the owner of the obligation.
  • Be directly related to education or employment.
  • Verified as not otherwise provided free of charge or available from other resources.
  • Be the only way available to meet the need.
  • Be documented with evidence of the need verified.

The Work Experience (WEX) Program is a 720-hour on-the-job work experience training program structured to promote self-sufficiency through the development of appropriate work habits and job skills.

The program targets four critical work behaviors:

  1. Reliability: I will report for work ready and fit for work at the time and worksite designated by my supervisor. I will be present and work ready every scheduled day.
  2. Safety: I will abide by all work safety rules and demonstrate proficiency with an accident free work record.
  3. Team Building: I will contribute to building and reinforcing the workplace team. I will be a valued member of the workplace, well regarded and trusted.
  4. Achievement: I will meet the performance, quality and/or production goals set by my supervisor.

Participant households must be below 200% of poverty guidelines. The program’s incentives are directly related to mastery of these four program behaviors. The program is designed to move the participant to unsubsidized, career-oriented work by building their work skills.

Participants who demonstrate that they are work ready and who are hired into career oriented, long-term, stable employment may arrange to have the first 720 hours of their new employment subsidized. These subsidies are paid to the employer, not the employee. A special contract with the employer is required that specifies the terms of agreement for the employer and Aanjibimaadizing. Participant households must be below 200% of poverty guidelines

Aanjibimaadizing regularly provides basic work and family related trainings and tutoring. These include such issues as: GED preparation, drivers license tests, budgeting, parenting, CPR/first aid, food handling, communications and conflict management. Households must be below 300% of poverty guidelines.

Eligible youth ages three through six who live in households that are below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline and who are enrolled in day care or school may receive supportive services for such things as:

  • New employment clothing and/or supplies when required by the employer
  • Driver’s Education costs.
  • Athletic or academic program fees and supplies
  • Special tutor costs (such as individual music lessons)
  • Leadership, education or cultural camp costs, including tuition, travel and supplies (based on a program recommendation/required list)
  • Boarding school support costs including travel and supplies (based on a program recommendation/required list)
  • (For Cash Assistance Families only) a fall and winter school clothing assistance

Ge-Niigaanizijig activities and regularly scheduled meetings are designed to inspire and motivate our youth to embrace a traditions based pro-social lifestyle free of chemicals, anti-social or risky behavior, promiscuity and dependency. These activities are offered to all eligible reservation service area youth from kindergarten through age 20.

Income verification is required.

Cash incentives and awards are made to any Ge-Niigaanizijig youth who meet program participation and achievement goals.

Eligible youth, ages sixteen (16) through twenty (20) and whose family’s income is below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline may participate in the Youth Career and Work Exploration Program.

Youth are given an incentive for actual hours worked. To be eligible you must be in school, making satisfactory attendance and grades. The type of work and the number of hours worked per week depend on the needs of the worksite supervisor.


An eligible household must include at least one adult who is

  • An enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; or
  • If residing within the Reservation Service Area, a first generation descendent of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; or
  • An enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe; or
  • If residing within the Urban Service Area, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Eligible households must also reside within one of our federally approved service areas:

  • Reservation Service Area: Within one of the Minnesota townships of Aitkin, Benton, Chisago, Crow Wing, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison or Pine counties, or
  • Urban Service Area: Within one of the urban Minnesota counties of Hennepin, Anoka, and Ramsey.

There are additional eligibility standards for various services outlined below. Financial eligibility is based on the household income with specific types of income excluded.

Veterans and veteran families, including survivor families, are given preference within any of these eligibility groups.

The Band’s Elder Needs-Based Supplemental Income Program has its own special eligibility standards. (See below)

How To Apply

Apply online by clicking the link below. Online applications and forms can also be found at aanji.org. (Please note that online applications are not able to be accessed through internet or wi-fi that is on teh MLB Network.)

Adult Application
Youth Application
Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe Rosetta Stone
Other Applications and Forms

Downloadable Forms
Elder Needs-Based Supplemental
Household Report Form (TANF)
Cash Assistance Application (CAF)