What we do

First Assist is an Indigenous charitable organization that provides on-site education and sports integration programs to enhance the mental, emotional and physical well-being of youth in Indigenous communities across Canada.

We assist education and health needs by using sport as a motivational and capacity building tool for our participants.

The main goal of our program is to help all students obtain their high school diploma while teaching them how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

WhatweDo-About Us

Our Mission

First Assist’s mission is to help Indigenous students – including those hardest to reach – find success in school by using sport as a motivational tool to promote attendance, increase classroom engagement and promote healthy habits for life.

Our Vision

Education through sport is our primary initiative. At First Assist we believe that every child should have access to an excellent education in partnership with local sports programs that share a common goal – having all students graduate high school.

Our Impact

First Assist is an Indigenous led organization. We have a combined 40 years of on-site Indigenous youth programming and development. First Assist instructors and educators have worked with over 3000 Indigenous youth throughout programming. Throughout this time, we have developed proprietary education, capacity building and health frameworks to ensure our programs are fit and tailored to each community’s specific issues and needs. Over the past years, First Assist programs have proven to reduce student absenteeism and increase attendance in school resulting in high school graduation rates on par with the National average.

Community Partners


Team Members

John Chabot is an Anishinabeg Algonquin from Kitigan Zibi First Nation. He spent 19 years playing professional hockey, including 9 in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. Since retiring from hockey in 2001, John has spent the majority of his time working with Indigenous youth in Northern Canada, including Indigenous communities in Northwest Territories, Yukon, Ontario, Nunavut and Nunavik. John has dedicated his time teaching hockey skills at local arenas and visiting schools with the goal of implementing education/sport programs designed to ensure the success of committed students.
Sean Rudy

Sean earned an NCAA Division 1 scholarship playing for the Bemidji State University Beavers in Bemidji, Minnesota. Sean completed his English and Education degree at Hobart College in Geneva, New York. Following graduation Sean played professional hockey in the ECHL and the SPHL. He is currently in his fourth year working in the Cree Community of Eastmain as the physical education teacher for both the elementary and secondary sectors at Wabannutao Eeyou School. He is the head instructor for Eastmain’s minor hockey and broomball programs. He also leads an innovative sports concentration initiative at W.E.S. The Sports Concentration Program is the first of its kind in the Cree School Board. The main goal of the program is to promote the graduation rate in Eastmain by using sports as a tool to promote attendance and develop engaged student-athletes. Last year Eastmain saw its highest ever graduation rate with a group of its students who were the first cohort to take part in this program.

Contact information

  • 838 Colonel By Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5C4
  • connect@firstassist.ca
  • 1-888-663-5514
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Instagram