How healthy are the residents of rural Canada? How healthy are Canada's rural communities? Members of an interdisciplinary research team at the Brandon University Rural Development Institute, Manitoba, Canada, formed a partnership with rural stakeholders in an attempt to strengthen and build capacity in rural communities. One component of this research was the development of a framework to assist residents of rural communities to assess the health and sustainability of their community. Through dialogue with partners and review of the literature, a preliminary framework can be generated. This article formed the first step in the creation of such a framework. The article begins with common term and concept development, extends to a critical analysis of framework literature and culminates with consideration of steps to be taken next in the establishment of a framework and indicators that are both meaningful and useful for rural residents and their communities.