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Sunrise Absorb

The Sunrise Absorb website is now live. You can meet the artists and buy boards.

Sunrise Absorb is a community youth-led and named program that creates the opportunity for youth to design, build, and sell skateboards. 

The program is designed to foster entrepreneurship and community building while promoting cultural expression and language revitalization, increasing school attendance and fostering healthy outdoor recreation in a way that is relevant to and wanted by community youth. 


Developed and run in collaboration between Carleton University, JV Clark School, and supported by Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Sunrise Absorb hopes to not only promote future entrepreneurial and trades experience for youth, but further provide an outlet for recreation and expression amongst an ongoing community mental health crisis. 


The program has previously run as event-based workshops. Made possible with Yukon Government's Community Development Fund, this year it will run as a year-long pilot project. The hope for the future of this program is to develop a long-term, ongoing after-school program where community leaders are a consistent source of knowledge and support that further helps to build strong community relationships. 


Throughout the program, students will collaborate on how to invest the profits from their work into making their school or community a better place. While generating this income from their work, they’ll also be learning what goes into running an e-commerce business and how they may be entrepreneurs themselves. Don’t worry though, participants will each get to keep one board they’ve made of their choosing.

Who Can Participate?


Youth ages: Grade 6 - 12
You don’t have to be a student at JV Clark school, or even a Mayo resident! Have cousins in town visiting? Bring them along for a drop-in session!

Adults 18+  - Still a kid at heart and want to get involved? We’re always looking for more community champions to help lead these drop-in sessions and skateboard making process. Reach out to us at to learn more about how to get involved!


How To Participate

Meeting: Thursdays, October 19th - December 7th

Ongoing Hours: 3:30 - 5pm (90 min)

Location: JVC Shop
 up with the signed parental permission slip: Available to Download Here

Sunrise Absorb will provide all personal protective equipment, however participants must wear closed toed shoes at all times in the workshop.

What to Expect

Making a skateboard is a multi-step process that takes place over a number of drop-in sessions. You may go at your own pace and on your own schedule in order to take the time you need to learn or to spend more time focusing on the aspects of board making that you like!

So how do you make a skateboard?

Step One: Lamination
This is where you will glue a bunch of thin pieces of wood together in order to give the board its strength and shape.

Step Two: Shaping
This step involves sanding and working with the raw board to get the desired shape for your board.

Step Three: Artwork
It’s not a skateboard without a custom design. This is your chance to get that creativity flowing and create a board that is uniquely you!

Step Four: Setting Up Shop
The final step of this program will also be selling the boards in their very own online store. Here, you get a chance to learn what goes into setting up an online store, how to promote it, fill orders, and get the skills and inspiration of setting up your own shop!
Participants will work together to decide where to invest the sales. Maybe this is something for the community, or a field trip? Being youth-led means they get to decide!

Optional Step Five: Keeping a Board
Obviously participants in Sunrise Absorb have a passion for skateboarding and will likely want to keep one of their boards - and we completely encourage this! Participants will get to choose one board of their making and program leaders will help them get trucks to add so their board is ready to use (just as soon as the snow melts).

Pro tip: Is there an aspect of skateboard making that you prefer? Buddy up with a friend and share the work by building boards together!


More About Sunrise Absorb


Why skateboarding?


Skateboarding wires the brain, connecting the physical body to spatial awareness and to see the world in terms of creative opportunity and where fun can be had. To see the world as a skateboarder instantly turns the banal and rigid built and psychological environments into places of possibility, problem solving, and joy.


Setting aside the world of computer designed skateboard parks, the olympics and million dollar brands, skateboarding is at its core a punk, outsider phenomenon. In its purest form skateboarding blurs the lines between community, culture, art form, and daredevilry. It is all these things at once.


Being anti-establishment, against the grain, whole heartedly DIY, skateboarding has always thrived on reinvention. Youth understand this intuitively. Since the beginning, skateboarders have made their own fun. Young skateboarders were the unofficial originators of the makerspace, have supported one another, and have constantly expressed their personal creativity by simply following their intuition and riding it.


From painting custom boards, altering their clothes, filming and photographing their friends, editing videos, building ramps and mixing cement to make their cities and towns more skate friendly and their own youth more fun, skaters have learned that it's fun to learn, be passionate, and to get involved.


It's no mystery why so many skateboarders have gone on to become artists, film makers (Oscar winners), actors, self employed builders, entrepreneurs and in all kinds of adulthood directions that allow for those original roots of freedom to live on in their lives. Once you touch the nerve it's hard to deny it exists.

Program Partners


This program was initiated by Carleton University & JV Clark School, and receives ongoing support from Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun.


JV Clark School is the public school located in Mayo, providing education for grades Kindergarten to Grade 12. As the community school, JV Clark has a vital role in this program in not only providing physical space to house to making, but fostering the community champions that help facilitate the program and develop community connection. 


Carleton University is a post-secondary institution located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and is the Sunrise Absorb program lead. Carleton’s Industrial Design and Business Program students have been vital in the development and implementation of the technical knowledge for the board making.  


Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation (NNDDC) is the active business arm of the FNNND. NNDDC is a private sector entity with a mandate to foster the economic wellbeing and health of the community’s people, land, and waters. Sunrise Absorb is an example of NNDDC’s corporate policy to strategically reinvest profits into the community. 


The Sunrise Absorb year-long pilot project has been made possible through the dedicated support from Yukon Government’s Community Development Fund. 

Update on Sunrise Absorb Skateboard Project: Empowering Youth and Building Community Connections


Launched this fall on October 19th in collaboration with JV Clark School and Carleton University, the Sunrise Absorb skateboard making program has surpassed all expectations, emerging as an exciting moment of entrepreneurship development and community building. This youth-led initiative not only promotes cultural expression, but also addresses important issues like school attendance and healthy outdoor recreation for community youth.


The response from the youth has been nothing short of overwhelming. Eager participants show up every week, enthusiastically engaging in the design and creation of their skateboards. The excitement is palpable, with students even inquiring about working on their boards outside of regular club hours. This exciting enthusiasm reflects the project's success in creating a meaningful and enjoyable outlet for self-expression and skill development, but further the importance of uplifting youth voices in the kind of programs and opportunities that they want.


Looking ahead, the community can anticipate a vibrant showcase event in early 2024, where the youth-made skateboards will take center stage. These unique creations will not only celebrate the creativity and craftsmanship of the participants but will also be available for purchase, further supporting the sustainability of the program. The Sunrise Absorb skateboard project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, fostering positive change, and empowering youth through meaningful and culturally relevant initiatives.

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