AanjiBimaadizing provides a comprehensive system of employment assistance, counseling, training and education to promote healthy life choices, appropriate work habits, and relevant skills for success in tribal or non-tribal, public or private work places.

The goal of AanjiBimaadizing is to empower low-income Mille Lacs Band members and their families to end dependency on assistance and to achieve a self-sufficient lifestyle.

These services are not entitlements. They require that you work with us to develop the skills to balance your life and your finances. No being in this world has all its needs provided by another. Each of us must find a path that leads to a life where we provide for ourselves. We must learn to manage and control our own lives. We must learn to stand strong and contribute to our community, not take from it.

AanjiBimaadizing also administers the Mille Lacs Band’s Elder Needs-Based Supplemental Income Program.

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Who is eligible for Aanji Bimaadizing Services?

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
  • If residing within the Urban Service Area, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Limited funding is available in both service areas for enrolled members of other federally registered tribes, Native Alaskans or Native Hawaiians for:

  • Support Services,
  • Gotaamigozi Flex Labor,
  • Career Development and Training,
  • WiiDu Youth Activities, and
  • Youth Career and Work Exploration.
  • Veterans and veteran families, including survivor families, are given preference within any of these eligibility groups.

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, Crow Wing, 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.

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

Services for Youth

Youth Support Services

Eligible youth ages (3) three through twenty (20) whom live in households that are below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guideline and whom 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

WiiDu Healthy Relationships Youth Program

Wii-Du Activities are regularly scheduled meetings and activities 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 ages twelve (12) through twenty (20). There is no income eligibility limits for this component of our youth program.

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

Youth Career and Work Exploration Program

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

Youth are paid wages 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.

Services for Adults & Minor Parents

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Cash Assistance

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.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Emergency Assistance

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 Food Support Program:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a State of Minnesota program that the MLBODOL administers for our Cash Assistance families. This program provided cash assistance specifically for food purchases.

Medical Assistance Program:

Medical Assistance and other health care coverage for low-income community members is now accessed through the MNsure website https://www.mnsure.org/ . The MLBODOL will assist individuals and families in navigating the website and ensuring they have coverage.

Friends and Family Childcare Assistance

Childcare assistance is available for Cash Assistance families who are employed or enrolled in educational programs that have a credible path to improved employment.

Adult Support Services

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.

Support Service payments are not:

  • Automatic or an entitlement.
  • Crisis intervention funds.
  • Utilized to cover on-going or periodic costs
  • Reimbursements for payments made by the participant.

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.

Adult Gotaamigozi Flex Labor Program

The Gotaamigozi Flex Labor 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 pay structure is directly related to mastery of these four program behaviors. Participants are not allowed to cycle through the program repeatedly. The program is designed to move the participant to unsubsidized, career oriented work by building their work skills.

Adult Partial Subsidy Program

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 the MLBODOL. Participant households must be below 200% of poverty guidelines

Career Training and Development Program

The MLBODOL 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.

Services for Elders

Elder Needs-Based Supplemental Income Program

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.

Community Services to Elders

The MLBODOL 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 MLBODOL staff and Gotaamigozi Flex Program participants.

Application for Services

Contact Information

Tammy Wickstrom
Interim Executive Director


Gladys Sam
Central Office Receptionist

800-922-4457 or 320-532-7407

Fax: 320-532-3785

Employment & Training Director


Katye Simonson
Program Manager/
Childcare Specialist


Todd Sam
Office Manager


Naomi Long
Youth Manager


Deb Campbell
Lead Instructor


Rose Wind
Intake Specialist


Amanda Bruneau
Case Manager


Diane Gibbs
District III WEX Coordinator


Renee Allen
Case Manager


AanjiBimaadizing — Urban Office

866-746-4888 or 612-746-4800

Fax: 612-870-3631

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Darlene Barbour
Urban Office Receptionist

Rebecca Wierschke
Office Manager


Winona Spaulding
Case Manager


Sandra Shabaiash
Intake Specialist


Rhonda Hunt
WEX Coordinator


Dawn Paro
Case Manager