Indicators are complicated and sensitive instruments, no question. So whenever they get applied to community development, there is a trade-off between technical standards and local engagement. Often (too often) that trade-off favours the former, to the benefit of organizations of great merit but no great commitment to building community capacity. Two initiatives in the Pacific Northwest, the Community Resilience process and the Oregon Benchmarks, show how to make indicators integral to community-based planning and change. Includes a critical analysis of recent experiments with genuine progress indices in Atlantic Canada, "Kings County GPI."