OUR TEAM

The Usand Group is a capital corporation that facilitates full financial participation in the global economy for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis organizations.
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Erinn Mah

Chief Operating Officer

Erinn is currently the Chief Operating Officer of The Usand Group, a company that designs and secures customized financial solutions for Indigenous groups across Canada.  

Erinn holds a BA degree in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of British Columbia, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Manitoba, and is a candidate for the Certified Management Consulting designation.

Erinn is originally from Vancouver and has lived all over Canada, but has lived in Winnipeg since 2013 . Health and wellness is a central part of Erinn's life and she emphasizes work-life balance and physical fitness. Erinn was elected to the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Cardiac Institute (Reh-Fit Centre) in 2017.

Dan Richard

Director of Finance

Dan Richard came to Usand after more than a decade of leading the financial and operations management of a Child and Family Services Authority.

He is one of very few First Nation Chartered Professional Accountants in Manitoba and a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager. Dan brings more than 16 years of progressive, executive-level experience in guiding organizations to meet strategic objectives and maintain budgetary control. His solid leadership, communication and interpersonal skills make him able to work easily with all levels of staff, management and board members.

Dan enjoys vacationing with his family in Disney World, which they have visited many times. He is the proud father of three children, attending many dance competitions and helping to coach his son’s hockey team. Dan is currently in training for his first half marathon.

Hanna Stangl

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Hanna Stangl joins the team after working for both Provincial and Federal Governments. Since coming to Usand, she has greatly improved the day-to-day management of the office and assisted with French translations.

Hanna is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography at the University of Manitoba. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling and learning about other languages and cultures. She hopes this will one day allow her to work abroad. At home in Manitoba, Hanna enjoys sharing Sunday brunch with friends and following the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.

Luc Laine

Regional Representative, Eastern Region

Luc is a member of the Huron Wendat Nation and ex-Delegated Chief. For the last 30 years, in both official languages, he has carried out professional activities within many Canadian and Aboriginal organizations as well as private sector organizations across Canada. Luc is a valuable contributor to Native associations.

His experience, diplomatic approach and knowledge of Aboriginal Peoples are an asset to the USAND team. As a Sociology and Business Law graduate from Laval University in Quebec City, Luc acted for more than five years as Co-chairman of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada and has been President of Orihwa Inc. Public Affairs, Management and Development since 1998.

Blaine Knott

Regional Representative, Western Region

A member of Peguis First Nation in Manitoba and graduate of the University of Alberta’s Native Studies program, Blaine has visited First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities throughout Canada as a Regional Manager of Aboriginal Banking for one of Canada’s chartered banks.

He has also worked as National Manager of Aboriginal Services for a leading investment advisory firm that brings financial education and wealth management best practices to communities while sharing good governance practices to support sustainable economic development. Traveling to Aboriginal communities is a big part of his work with The Usand Group, and Blaine always enjoys the challenge of finding the Band office.

An avid volunteer, Blaine has spoken at the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation “Blue Print for the Future” Aboriginal Youth Conference in Whitehorse, Yukon, and many times at National Aboriginal Day celebrations in Edmonton, Alberta. Blaine is married and has a daughter who is in post-secondary studies in Alberta. He enjoys playing hockey and golf, and cooking for his family.

Richard Lang

Regional Representative, Maritimes Region

Richard Lang is a seasoned entrepreneur and business leader with 25 years of experience in market development, building and construction management, and real estate purchase and lease negotiations with First Nations and the private sector.

He was Interim President and CEO of the Madawaska Maliseet Economic Development Corporation, which gave him an in-depth knowledge of First Nations affairs and land development. That, combined with his network of international contacts, has given Richard a proven track record of success. He first connected with The Usand Group when he met Luc Lainé while dropping the world’s best lobster roll on the floor at the Pirate de la Mer.

Once he understood the Usand approach to traditionally complex financing was being engineered in the client’s best interest, he wanted to join the team and now works on the ground floor of projects to ensure the execution of financing runs smoothly. A mentor for young entrepreneurs, he leads by example and is committed to teaching and following good governance practices.

Mike Delisle

General Manager, EMIC Homes Ltd. / Sales Representative, The Usand Group

Mike Delisle is former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, a position he was elected to by acclamation and held from 2004 until 2015.

His greatest task was serving as Chief negotiator on behalf of Kahnawake in one of the largest urban land claims in Canada.

Mike is also a former employee of the Bank of Montreal, where he rose from Customer Service Representative to Financial Services Manager within five years. Mike's work ethic was fostered through the example set by his late father, Mike Sr., a World War II veteran and high-steel worker in the US who never shied away from a hard day’s work. Mike and his wife Terry continue to live and participate in the community life of Kahnawake. They have three grown children.

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

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

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

Partners


Bridging Finance

Working with The Usand Group on the financial side is Bridging Finance Inc., a privately held Canadian company that provides middle-market North American companies with alternative financing options to those offered by traditional lenders. Offering flexible financial solutions, Bridging Finance Inc. works to address short-term financial needs, including restructuring existing debt, providing working capital for growth and supporting inventory purchases, acquisitions and buyouts. Bridging Finance Inc. is sub-advisor to the Sprott Bridging Income Fund LP.

David Sharpe, President and Chief Operating Officer of Bridging Finance Inc., is a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, located near Deseronto, Ontario. With more than two decades of experience in the financial services industry, David brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him. Through hard work and determination, Bridging Finance Inc. has become a leader in bridge lending to Aboriginal communities across Canada. With their extensive experience in short-term lending, Bridging Finance Inc. is an ideal complement to The Usand Group’s strength and focus on long-term community financing. The two companies have already worked on several projects together and look forward to sharing more successes in the future.

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Forward Vision Games

Forward Vision Games creates cloud-based financial simulation games that teach foundational financial skills in an engaging and impactful way. The company focuses on building financial capacity for Indigenous people and communities. The first game was launched in the fall of 2013, in Northern Alberta, to upper-year high-school students. Forward Vision Games is now building partnerships with high schools, colleges and universities, as well as First Nation leaders in communities across the country.

Forward Vision Games offers executive financial training to First Nations through The Usand Group. The program helps community leaders move beyond using audits to define financial success by introducing a thinking process that allows them to turn assets and opportunities into wealth and prosperity. Forward Vision Games is a member of the Work and Learn cluster at the Mars Discovery District in Toronto, a leading center for innovation in education in Canada.

Meaghan Daly founded Forward Vision Games. Meaghan has a degree in finance and worked as an equity trader/market maker for major Canadian banks and investment firms for more than seven years. Passionate about financial literacy, the capital markets and Aboriginal issues, Meaghan started and based Forward Vision Games on the core belief that because the financial world has changed, we need to change how we teach it.

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Indigenomics Institute

The Indigenomics Institute is an Indigenous economic advisory for public governments, Indigenous communities and the private sector. The Indigenomics Institute focuses on four core areas in overcoming Indigenous economic barriers and addressing challenges:

DIALOGUE PLATFORM FOR INDIGENOUS ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS

ECONOMIC POLICY/ RESEARCH/ANALYSIS / PLANNING

EDUCATION/ TRAINING

PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Indigenomics honors the powerful thinking of Indigenous wisdom of local economy, relationships and human values. Indigenomics is about increasing the role and visibility of Indigenous peoples in the new economy. It is about understanding indigenous ways of being and worldview. Indigenomics draws on ancient principles that have supported indigenous economies for thousands of years, and works to implement them as modern practices.

Indigenomics welcomes you to an Indigenous worldview. It brings to the forefront human values and practice. It invites dialogue, and thought provoking insight into possibility of the Indigenous relationship both in Canada and beyond. It explores the pathway of the threshold of the indigenous relationship and modern economies.

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Transformation International

Transformation is a global business model that is positively impacting communities, organizations, and corporations. Our work responds to the need for community, economic and environmental solutions. From problem to empowerment, the Transformation business model focuses on increasing the capacity of individuals, communities, organizations and governments. Transformation fosters both individual and collective well-being as a vision for the future through strengthening local capacity, governance, resource management. Transformation puts together a multi-disciplinary team to meet your community, business, nation building, governance and organizational needs. From focused decision-making, sophisticated analytics, design, connecting to capital, facilitation, and innovative partnerships, Transformation brings a transformative experience to growth, change and development.

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