The CVI Framework

The CVI wellbeing framework brings together both the elements and interconnections of wellbeing as identified by women from Happy Valley-Goose Bay who represent diverse social identities. 

Community Vitality Index is modelled after an inuksuk with five key building blocks: mental, cultural, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.Graphic designer Monica Peach, from Nunatsiavut, took the sketches produced by the women during the workshops and produced the image shown here.  This visual framework symbolizes the interconnectedness of all the components of wellbeing, which the women of Happy Valley-Goose Bay felt was very important to illustrate.

The base of the framework is an Inuksuk (inukshuk), which represents: 

  • Balance (all stones of our inukshuk must fit together to form a stable structure)
  • Uniqueness (every inukshuk is different)
  • Direction (we all benefit from collective guidance)
  • Connection to the earth (the land nourishes and roots the people of HV-GB in many ways)

The inuksuk represents everything vital to the wellbeing of women in HV-GB (and likely to people of all genders everywhere).


Within the stones of the inuksuk are five webs, or nets – the fishing net, the spider’s web, the womb, the snowshoe, and the dream catcher – which are symbolic to the women of HV-GB for many reasons:

  • In the development of this CVI, we started our work together by building a web between participants. The connections in our web helped us do our work.
  • Like women’s wellbeing, a net is best when all of its connections are strong. Also, a net doesn’t work properly if it has holes in it, or if strands of the net are missing.
  • Social support, which comes from connections to others (networks), is essential to wellbeing. It is also important to recognize that networks full of connections that we feel trapped by can hurt our wellbeing. Nets are mostly positive but they can sometimes be negative.
  • Each of the webs or nets is a component of our collective identity – as women, as Indigenous people, as fishers, as people connected to the land.
  • Net(work)s help to connect us to the things that we need – people, support, services.
  • Webs are strong – like women.
  • Nets represent safety – they can catch you; and danger – you can get caught in them.
  • Nets hold things – all of these nets or webs hold things that are important to wellbeing.