Provide an overview of the consortium. Include the following:

  • Geographic area of service including, as appropriate, Tribal Nations located partially or completely within that area
  • Description of and data about the target population for ABE services who reside within the geographic area served by the consortium (such as individuals with low levels of literacy, adults without a secondary credential and/or adult English language learners)
  • Description of the ABE students typically served (including number, demographics and common goals)
  • Current number and roles of staff, indicating which positions are full-time and part-time
  • Brief overview of ABE programming sites across the consortium

The Mille Lacs Band ABE Consortium will focus our services on our individual tribal nation, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

The Non-Removable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is a sovereign, self-governing federally recognized American Indian tribal government located in east-central Minnesota. The Band has over 4,300 members. The Mille Lacs Band is one of six members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, which was formed in 1934, during the Indian Reorganization Act.

Aanjibimaadizing, which means “changing lives” in our Ojibwe language, is operated as a division of the Mille Lacs Band’s Department of Administration. Aanjibimaadizing provides services of Case Management, Support Services, Subsidized Employment, Education and Training, Youth Services, Child Care Assistance, SNAP, and TANF. All department services are offered to support obtaining and retaining employment, improving or creating a position of job readiness, and addressing employment barriers through the Mille Lacs Band 477 Program.

Aanjibimaadizing helps to empower participants with an acquired purpose or occupation that will contribute to the well-being of their community and family. The goals of the program are centered on our mission statement which is:

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

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. As such, we work closely with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Education Departments that oversee higher education, tribal schools and Headstart/Early Education.

About Public Law 102-477 (477) Programs

This program provides workforce development services to Tribal members seeking to establish self-sufficiency for themselves and their families in accordance with Public Law 102-477.

Public Law 102-477 is a critical law that provides for sovereignty and builds capacity in Indian Country by authorizing tribal governments to integrate eligible employment, training, and related service programs that support workforce development. It provides an opportunity for each tribe to develop employment and training services based on tribal goals and initiatives.

As a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, the outcomes of Minnesota ABE align closely with our services:

  • Obtain employment or improve employment by getting a new job or getting a promotion
  • Achieve a high school equivalency (GED or Diploma)
  • Gain or improve skills necessary to enter post-secondary education and training
  • Master basic academic skills to help support their children in school
  • Become a more active and engaged community member
  • Gain self-esteem, confidence and achieve personal educational goals

In 2022, Aanjibimaadizing received the Department of Interior Chief’s Award. The Chief’s Award is given annually to one of the seventy-two P.L.102-477 grantees in the nation. Of these, Aanjibimaadizing was chosen as the program that best demonstrates excellence in service.

Geographical Area

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe homeland is the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, consisting of District I (near Onamia), District II (near McGregor), District IIa (near Isle), and District III (near Hinckley). The Tribe owns approximately 16,000 acres of land located within four townships on the south end of Mille Lacs Lake. The reservation has a community center, schools, clinic, museum, casino/hotel complex and Government Center. The tribal headquarters is near Onamia, Minnesota, 100 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In FY21, approval was given to expand service to MLBO members, descendants, and other federally recognized tribal members in Chisago and Kanabec counties. Aanjibimaadizing’s federally approved service area now includes eleven counties – Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Crow Wing, Hennepin, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine and Ramsey.

Pandemic response data shows that Aanjibimaadizing provided services to over 2,197 households in this area from March 2020 to March 2023.

Target Population

Currently, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe has about 4,300 Band members. Approximately 44% of band members live off the reservation, while the remaining 56% live on the reservation in the various Mille Lacs Band districts.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Reservation is comprised of four small communities in central Minnesota: District I – Mille Lacs (Mille Lacs County), which is 12 miles North of Onamia. District II – East Lake (Aitkin County), which is located 3 miles South of McGregor. District IIa (Mille Lacs County), which is located just outside of Isle. District III – Lake Lena (Pine County), which is located 30 miles East of Hinckley. There are significant amounts of MLBO members living in Hinckley and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

District I and District IIA

The recruitment area is a 60-mile radius from the District I reservation including the counties of Aitkin, Benton, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, and Morrison counties. This area includes District IIa (Isle). According to 2021 Census data, Mille Lacs County has a total population of 26,867. Out of the total population, 6% are under the age of five (5) and 5.7% are American Indian. 9.2% of the total population is living in poverty. The median income is $57,173. The high school graduation rate is 89.2%. According to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development statistics as of October 2022, the Mille Lacs County unemployment rate was 1.7%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the national unemployment rate as 3.7% and the Minnesota unemployment rate as 1.7%.

The Mille Lacs Reservation unemployment rate is 12.3% based on US census data from 2020. This data includes all Reservation land areas in all districts. The program believes this unemployment rate may be higher and will be working with Mille Lacs Early Education and the MLBO grants department to gather additional data.

District II

Aanjibimaadizing has another location in the town of McGregor in Aitkin County. The recruitment area is a 30-mile radius, including most of Aitkin County.

According to 2021 Census data, Aitkin County has a total population of 15,887. Out of the total population, 3.7% are under the age of five (5) and 2.5% are American Indian. 11.1% of the total population is living in poverty. The median income is $49,086. The high school graduation rate is 91.9%.  According to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development statistics as of October 2022, the Aitkin County unemployment rate was 2.4%.

District III

Aanjibimaadizing also operates out of the Aazhoomog area, 30 miles east of Hinckley in Pine County and our Evergreen Office near Grand Casino Hinckley. The recruitment area is a 30-mile radius from the reservation and includes Pine County. Services for youth are also provided in Hinckley at the Meshakwad Community Center. Services are not provided for Wisconsin residents.

According to 2021 Census data, Pine County has a total population of 29,302. Out of the total population, 4.5% are under the age of five (5) and 3.5% are American Indian. 10.2% of the total population are living in poverty. The median income is $55,606. The high school graduation rate is 90.1%.  According to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development statistics as of April 2016, the Pine County unemployment rate was 2.4%.

Urban Area

Aanjibimaadizing has an office in downtown Minneapolis to service the Mille Lacs Band members and American Indian population in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, or Urban area. This includes the counties of Anoka, Hennepin, and Ramsey. The office is located on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis in a neighborhood that focuses on American Indian services. ABE services in the Urban area will be referred to the American Indian OIC in Minneapolis with assistance provided by Aanjibimaadizing.


On average, approximately 35% of our adult clients (285 in FY22) don’t have a diploma or GED and work with us to obtain it.


Cash Assistance Clients Total Adults Total


Families Receiving Child Care Assistance Children Receiving Child Care Adult Earnings Gain Businesses Assisted



825 567 51 98 $16.55




736 406 39 72 $12.75 126


70 600 350 47 79 $11.36 71



668 258 19 32 $7.14


FY18* 42 307 180 2 2 $6.63


FY17 33 182 111 28 43 $2.00


*Data was obtained from draft reports and cannot be confirmed by the signed and submitted report.

To be eligible for 477 services, an applicant must meet at minimum the five (5) eligibility criteria:

  • A signed and dated application
  • Proof of residency in the service area
  • Tribal Membership or first descendant of the Mille Lacs Band
  • Selective Service Registration for males over the age of 18
  • Employability Development Plan (EDP) that is signed and dated

Other components of the program may need additional documentation, including income. Those requirements are spelled out in the Aanjibimaadizing Policies and Procedures Manual.

Aanjibimaadizing serves a majority of low-income participants.


Aanjibimaadizing has offices in the Urban area, District I, District II and District III. The offices are open to walk-in clients. Clients can also call or email. Word of mouth is a significant source of new clients.

To better disseminate program information and trainings to our clients, Aanjibimaadizing has developed a training and resource website at Continually a work in progress, this website is maintained by the Instructional Team where clients will be able to access online courses they have developed and online learning tools. Online applications for Aanjibimaadizing and the programs it offers can be found there as well. Please visit

During COVID-19, Aanjibimaadizing used Facebook as a main source to communicate with clients and the community. Through FY21, the number of people following our page increased to 957. At the end of FY22, it had a following of 1,845 people and 1,558 likes.

When appropriate, department news is also shared with the Innajimowin, the Mille Lacs Band newspaper, through the Mille Lacs Band Facebook page, and in the videos presented by the Chief Executive.

Other MLBO departments make referrals to the program on a daily basis and programming information is emailed and shared with all employees of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

Staff Roles

Aanjibimaadizing has 78 staff. Staff includes lead instructors, community service leaders, youth mentors, case managers, facilitators, cultural staff, intake workers, data specialists, program manager and operations and compliance manger, and transporter. Seventy-seven percent of our employees are Native American.

Aanjibimaadizing is led by Executive Director Tammy Wickstrom who provides oversight for program operations. Tammy has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood and human services. With a Master’s Degree in Family Life Education, she has worked with Tribal Nations providing direction and training to Head Start programs for over 18 years.

Karen Pagnac, Training Manger, is leading consortium development and will be managing the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe ABE consortium under the supervision of Tammy Wickstrom. The Training Manager is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and coordination of all Aanjibimaadizing training staff, events, and activities as well as the development and acquisition of curriculum to serve the needs of both the youth and adult Aanjibimaadizing program participants. This includes the maintenance and confidentiality of supporting documentation and records, contract maintenance and preparation, administering training quality assessments, and overseeing disbursement of training funds.

Our ABE Instructor is Jessica Crafton. She has necessary licensure requirements and was formerly the Adult Basic Education and GED Teacher at Milaca Public Schools. She currently assists with clients that are pursuing their GED, helping them develop a path that meets their needs and allows them to be successful.

Aanjibimaadizing has four Lead Instructors/Trainers who are ABE Volunteers – Deb Campbell, Jen Gabrio, Ameliana Duran, and Becky Clitso-Garcia. Lead Instructor/Trainers design, implement, and teach educational programs for adults and youth, as well as develop and administer programs for adult continuing education.

Also part of the training staff are 2 tutors that work with our Ge-Niigaanizjig (youth program) clients to meet academic goals. One of these tutors, Luis Torres, is taking the trainings necessary to become an ABE Volunteer Tutor.

Not part of our training team, but crucial to our work with Adult Basic Education are Roger Klassen, Transporter and Cassandra Losh, Administrative Assistant.


Aanjibimaadizing’s main office is located on the reservation, north of Onamia in Mille Lacs County. As the program expanded services, site locations were expanded to ensure they were available in all districts. Aanjibimaadizing currently has offices in the Urban area, District I, District II and District III.

In FY20, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe built a new state-of-the-art clinic in District 1. The former clinic building on Migizi Drive was gifted to Aanjibimaadizing. The program has moved into this building as of October, 2020. This facility allows staff to have separate offices, practice social distancing and have more space to provide services. Aanjibimaadizing is excited about the renovation and the potential to provide more services in the community that will build client skills. The renovation is expected to be complete in June 2023. Planned improvements included:

  • Providing for a larger classroom space with testing center.
  • Multiple spaces for ongoing trainings.
  • Create a commercial kitchen to teach cooking and restaurant service skills. This can be used to serve local events as well.
  • Create an Ojibwe Language and Culture classroom. This will provide space for language instruction and making cultural crafts that clients can use for cultural customs or sell.
  • Develop a space for a gift shop. Clients can make items to sell for income and learn retail skills.
  • A recording booth has been installed to work with Rosetta Stone and language recordings.
  • A dedicated youth space for meetings and events.
  • Upgrade the heating and cooling system.
  • Painting inside and out.

Addresses where Aanjibimaadizing (Aanji) programs take place are as follows, with ABE classroom sites in blue:

District I

  • Aanjibimaadizing Main Office, 43500 Migizi Drive, Onamia, MN 56359-2236     
  • MLBO Government Center (Mailing Address), 43408 Oodena Drive, Onamia, MN 56359-2009
  • Aanji Garage, 38627 US-169, Onamia, MN 56359
  • Aanji Workshop, 16769 Zhaaboshkang Neyaashiing Miikanaans, Onamia, MN 56359

District II

  • McGregor Office, 201 W Hwy 210 Suite 100, McGregor, MN 55760                   
  • East Lake Community Center (Youth), 36666 State Highway 65, McGregor, MN 55760
  • Aanji CNA Lab, 20849 370th Lane Unit 104, McGregor, MN 55760

District IIA

  • Chiminising Community Center (Youth), 2605 Chiminising Road, Isle, MN 56342

District III

  • Aazhoomog Community Center, 45749 Grace Lake Road, Sandstone, MN 55072
  • Evergreen Office, 2481 Evergreen Court, Suite A, Hinckley, MN 55037      
  • Meshakwad Community Center (Youth), 38043 Hinckley Road, Hinckley, MN 55037


  • MLBO Urban Office, 1404 E Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404


Provide data on the consortium’s success in improving skills for ABE students, such as numbers of students who have made educational level gains, completed a secondary diploma or GED®/HiSET®, entered postsecondary, entered a training program, completed a certificate, or gained employment. 

As we are applying to be a new consortium, the data that follows represents education and training gains during the last two fiscal years. Our fiscal year runs October 1 to September 30.

Training Data
Classroom Services
# of Client Contacts Made 4,713 3,660
# Adults Receiving Driver’s License Assistance 443 483
# Youth Receiving Driver’s License Assistance 41 18
# working on GED 285 150
Total Clients Assisted with Classroom Activities 725 478
# Offered that were Facilitated in House 42 37
# Offered that were Facilitated by Other Entities 84 75
Total number of Sessions Offered 284 250
Pine Technical and Community College Certificates Obtained 62 52
Cumulative total of those attending trainings offered through Aanji 923 787
Work Experience Training
Total Hours of Training Provided 45,276 34,958
Total # WEX Participants 129 243
# students that advanced to the next grade 44 Tutoring was not a separate program at this time.
# students tutored that graduated 13
Total # of K-12 Students Tutored 57
# Graduated 16 9
# Entered College/Trade School 8 2
# Participating in Internships 46 Not offered
# Participating in Sports and Fitness Programs 188 243
Ojibwe Language Lessons 110 Programing was not available at this time.
Traditional Skills Trainings 119
Ojibwe Rosetta Stone Participants 3,438


Provide evidence of the consortium’s ability to serve eligible adults with disabilities, including learning disabilities.

With vast experience working with students of all ages, Aanjibimaadizing has a proven ability to serve those with disabilities. Nearly all of our clients are working to overcome barriers, which often include disabilities. We work with each client to meet their individual learning needs. Most of our staff have backgrounds in education and/or special education. Those who don’t are happily supported by other team members.

Upon intake, case managers ask clients if they have any special needs, learning or other disabilities. After referral to training services, instructors inquire further about their needs and obtain transcripts and other documents and information as needed. This may include working with Aanjibimaadizing facilitators or other Mille Lacs Band Departments to ensure they are supported in the best way possible.

Assessments are then administered. The assessments needed vary, depending on the programs that the client is accessing. Most often these include attending training orientation, completing the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS), Job Search Attitude Inventory (JSAI), Barriers to Employment Success Inventory (BESI), Communication Skills Assessment, Career Cluster Interest Survey, and CAREERwise Interest Assessments.

We have found this process allows us to quickly and effectively identify and address their needs, after which we apply interventions that closely follow the protocols of Physical And Nonapparent Disability Assistance (PANDA). Differences include accommodations that holistically support overcoming barriers and workforce entry – such as generational trauma, substance use disorders, transportation, and family stability. We allow each person to work at their own pace, encourage them to find motivation and empowerment in their skills and abilities, and celebrate their success.

These items are recorded and uploaded in our department database, OneTribe, where the information can be accessed by other Aanjibimaadizing staff working with the client and from the multiple districts we serve.

In addition, all sites meet ADA requirements for accessibility and resources follow ADA guidelines.

Section 1 Documentation

Section 1 does not have any required documents.