Our ProjectsBuilding strong nations through modern finance.
Since 2012, we’ve helped communities secure over $170 million. Using our team’s expertise and insight from various stakeholders within each community, we crafted custom financial solutions for each band. The solutions vary based on financial need, community capacity, and circumstances that affected past finances.
If you have questions about our success stories, feel free to reach out to our team to learn more.
Long Term Loan Agreement
Refinancing & Consolidation
Misipawistik Cree Nation
$11 Million in new capital, bridge loan to expedite housing, 58 new buildings
Misipawistik Cree Nation is a northern Manitoba community located near Grand Rapids. Misipawistik was challenged by financial issues and debts yet desperately needed housing for their community. They wanted to find a way to build capacity for economic development so they could improve housing and infrastructure on the reserve.
The Usand Group and community members worked together to restructure the community’s debt, which led to $11 million in fresh capital. The Usand Group also secured a bridge loan—the first ever made available to a First Nations community—to expedite building that would address a critical housing shortage. They were also able to build a community church and additional Child and Family Services dwelling.
Because of the bridge loan, families were able to move into the new homes twelve months sooner than without the loan. The 26 new homes, new church and new Child and Family Services home were all built within a little more than a year. At the end of two years, an additional 30 homes will have been built, as well as a new street.
To read the full Misipawistik Cree Nation case study, click the download button below.
We are greatly pleased with the outcomes of this deal and are proud to say that Usand has established a productive, longstanding relationship with both the Chief and the community throughout the course of this project.
Misipawistik Cree Nation
Brokenhead Ojibway Nation & BON Development Corp
With financing secured together, BON Development Corporation has:
- Started building a full-service grocery store, pharmacy and medical clinic,
- Started the process to construct 50 new homes over the next three years in the Brokenhead community,
- Refinanced current debt and payables with favourable financing terms, improving the community’s cash flow,
- And secured an operating and construction loan for facility and equipment purchases for other planned economic development projects.
Brokenhead Ojibway Nation & BON Development Corp worked with The Usand Group to secure financing that created long-term opportunities for community-controlled, economic development projects. The projects generated permanent and part time employment for Brokenhead (BON) members.
The new medical clinic and health centre has also helped foster a partnership with the University of Manitoba – Faculty of Medicine and its Northern Medical Unit. The facility will host a teaching curriculum to train physicians, nurses and other disciplines in working in Aboriginal and rural communities. The most important outcome from the development of the new medical facility is BON’s ability to offer enhanced medical access and resources to its members, partnering First Nation communities and neighbouring Non-First Nation residents. Because of the partnership, other organizations are encouraging communities to establish partnerships with BON to capitalize on the medical training opportunities. This will help generate more revenue for the community.
40.7 million dollars for eight facilities.
Peguis First Nation came to The Usand Group to collaborate and raise capital for various projects within their community. Usand started by learning about the community, their needs and the capabilities—structurally and financially. After working closely with Chief Peguis Investment Corporation, Peguis First Nation and various trustees, our team obtained several financial offers.
The financing helped build an RCMP building, community housing, a line of credit for economic development and infrastructure projects, and an on-reserve housing loan program through BMO. Now, Chief Peguis Investment Corporation is successfully pursuing projects in five investment areas: real estate, wholesale, retail, hospitality, and business holdings.
Elsipogtog First Nation
Through collaboration with The Usand Group, Elsipogtog First Nation received funding for phase one of a multi-phase deal—turn-key construction of the River of Fire Pharmacy and Grocery Store. The Usand Group helped arrange financing to fund the initial cost and inventory of both, and is now working towards funding the second project: community housing. The priorities of the projects are to keep resources and income on the reserve.
The Usand Group started working with owners of the Edmundston Truck Stop in the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation community to obtain financing that would help position their business for future growth. The truck stop offers a convenience store, pet and car wash, showers and laundry and operates a TCH Network Cardlock.
We were able to improve the financial structure of our business and obtain better interest rates than before. The process was fast, transparent, and Usand’s representatives were always available to answer our questions. Our truck stop is continuing to thrive and we look forward to further growth in the future.
Edmundston Truck Stop
Natashquan First Nation
Natashquan First Nation has secured $19.3 million to finance community developments.
As a strong economic mainstay for the region, Natashquan will make use of the funds to support growth and development of the community and its resources. The influx of funding will positively influence the people and businesses of Natashquan as well as those in surrounding municipalities.
A new, multi-phase arena was the first improvement. A bridge loan allowed the Band to break ground and begin building earlier than anticipated, aligning construction within a limited northern season. Phase two of the project will see the addition of a community centre.
Natashquan has future plans for the development of an industrial park that will include a mechanical service garage and a municipal garage. A new administrative office and upgrades for local outfitters are also outlined in the community’s five-year plan. The Usand Group and Natashquan continue their collaboration with plans for future housing projects.
Red Pheasant First Nation
Red Pheasant Cree Nation, a Treaty 6 signatory and member of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, is located in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Their community needed help securing financing to prepare for the second phase of construction on a commercial development worth approximately $10 Million. They were having trouble moving forward because of an uncoordinated patchwork of high interest loans.
Our team put together a bank package that refinanced the current loans into a more cohesive solution with better rates and terms. Then, we negotiated on the band’s behalf to finalize the deal under terms that benefited the band first.
This solution solved a common problem where communities often have a ‘layered’ approach to financing – where bank loan products are taken ‘off the shelf’ and stacked on top of one another instead of being built to fit together to provide a solid financial foundation. This project was initially supposed to be much larger, but we worked with the band to realize that they needed to secure their financial base before moving forward with larger economic development projects.
Chief Stewart Baptiste is exceptionally proud of the work done to date.
We wanted to ensure that our community was in the right financial position to pursue our economic goals. The Usand Group worked well with us to create a more complete financial picture that could incorporate both our immediate and longer term plans. We are very excited to have completed this first milestone and look forward to starting on our next phase.
Red Pheasant First Nation
Ebb & Flow First Nation
Usand worked directly with Ebb and Flow’s Chief and Council west of Lake Winnipeg to negotiate financing for a handful of revenue-generating projects that will benefit the long-term health of the community. First, The Usand Group connected Ebb & Flow with several professionals to grow their internal financial process and band-owned business management. Working side-by-side, the on-going projects have increased Ebb and Flow’s efficiency and profit.
Abitibiwinni First Nation
Located a few kilometers north of Amos in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Québec, Abitibiwinni First Nation is well positioned for business development. In partnering with Usand, Abitibiwinni began to raise capital for various community development and revenue-generating projects, and has already attained $1.6 Million in financing for their first project, the Golden Age Retirement Home.