Community Vitality Index

In September 2012, a small group of women in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, along with an even smaller group of academic researchers, began a journey to create a community vitality index (CVI); a tool to track changes to the wellbeing of women in the community.

Women’s wellbeing is critical to gender equality and increasingly important as the new Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Dam has “the potential for adverse effects resulting from high wage employment, including increased substance abuse, and sexual assault, family violence and [other] effects on women and children in Happy Valley-Goose Bay…” (Report of the Joint Review Panel, 2011, p. xxviii).

After two years of hard work, the CVI was publicly launched at an event in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on June 12, 2014. Since then, the research team has brought the CVI project to other northern communities by establishing partnerships with the NunatuKavut Community Council in Labrador, and Tamitik Status of Women and the Haisla Nation in Kitimat and Haisla, BC. In these regions, local Advisory Groups are meeting with diverse women to determine appropriate ways of understanding and tracking their experiences given significant economic, social, and environmental change ongoing in their regions. While still in the early stages of data collection, these women are enthusiastic about taking on a greater role in studying, informing, and shaping their communities. 

 You can learn more about the CVI by clicking on the links below or by downloading this overview document.

What is the CVI?

Why is the CVI important to women in Happy Valley – Goose Bay?

Defining “Wellbeing”

The CVI Wellbeing Framework

Creating the CVI


Women in HV-GB have unique and varied backgrounds. Many Indigenous women, including Innu, Inuit Nunatsiavut beneficiaries, and Inuit NunatuKavut women call HV-GB home. There is also a large population of people who were born and raised in Labrador but who do not identify with one particular culture. Many of these women consider themselves to be Labradorian. Finally, there are many women who moved to Labrador for family and/or work reasons. The military base is one of the major historical reasons that women moved to HV-GB. Many other women moved to HV-GB from other parts of Canada for jobs, mostly in the fields of health, education, and social services. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of immigrant women, especially from the Philippines, who are working in service industries, and who call Labrador home.