History

AMMSA

Windspeaker.com is owned and operated
by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta, an Aboriginal communications
society dedicated to serving the news and information needs of Aboriginal
people throughout Canada.

Incorporated in 1983 under the Alberta
Societies Act, the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society has steadfastly maintained
its commitment to the quality of its products and its people.

AMMSA has served as the model for Aboriginal communications societies and
organizations and has provided training, support, and encouragement to other
Aboriginal groups, communities, and societies wishing to establish their own
communications facilities.

Our Mission:

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is
an independent Aboriginal communications organization committed to facilitating
the exchange of information reflecting Aboriginal culture to a growing and diverse
audience.

AMMSA is dedicated to providing objective, mature and balanced coverage of
news, information and entertainment relevant to Aboriginal issues and peoples
while maintaining profound respect for the values, principles and traditions of
Aboriginal people.


Organizational History

1983

A monthly publication was first published
in 1983, Windspeaker was intended to serve the Aboriginal people of
northern Alberta. In the years that followed, Windspeaker expanded and
developed its circulation base and readership to the point where in 1993, on
its 10th anniversary, it refocused its editorial coverage and repositioned
itself to become Canada's first and only provider of national Aboriginal news,
information and opinion. It was a tremendous leap of faith and required a substantial
shift in strategy and a major realignment of critical resources.

1990

With a 100 per cent cut in federal
funding in 1990, nine of the 11 Aboriginal publications across Canada included
in the now defunct Native Communications Program closed their doors.
Windspeaker was the only publication west of Ontario to survive the federal
cuts and was challenged to fill the void created by the demise of these other
publications.

1993

"This was an excellent window of
opportunity for us, and Windspeaker took up the challenge. Our goal was
to provide news, information and views from a national perspective in a way
that would complement the work of other Aboriginal media, which typically
served a much more local community," said Bert Crowfoot, Windspeaker publisher.

"Back in 1993 we put our faith in
our staff to transform Windspeaker into a national forum that would be
supported by readers through subscriptions and, in time, by advertisers. "

The formula has worked very well. After
years of cost-cutting with the elimination of government funding, AMMSA and
Windspeaker are underwent expansion and growth.

"One of our organization's
philosophies is to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. We saw the
elimination of government funding, both provincial and federal, as a wake-up
call to pursue the dream of having an Aboriginal publication that was both
financially and politically independent. We focused on developing a product
that would attract a loyal readership," said Crowfoot.

1996

AMMSA launches debuts its first website
property: www.ammsa.com

2000

AMMSA digitizes all of the published articles in Windspeaker
and its publication Alberta Sweetgrass, launched in December 1993, dating back
to 1983 and makes them available online as part of a archive of 20,000+ news
and information articles.

AMMSA also owns and operates CFWE-FM
radio, Alberta's first and most extensive Aboriginal broadcaster.

Currently serving 54 Alberta Aboriginal
communities via satellite, an extensive and ambitious expansion plan has been
developed to broadcast CFWE throughout southern Alberta.

As we continue to increase the signal
coverage area, our plan is to include every First Nation and Métis Settlement
in Alberta.

2009

CFWE radio launches in urban centres:
Edmonton and Fort McMurray.

The Future

Not an organization to shy away from
new technology, AMMSA has also developed comprehensive web site properties to
showcase its various services, publications, news and entertainment online,
including Windspeaker.com and cfweradio.ca

AMMSA History and Mission

AMMSA

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an Aboriginal communications society dedicated to serving the needs of Aboriginal people throughout Canada. Incorporated in 1983 under the Alberta Societies Act, the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society has survived and flourished where others have faltered. The Society has steadfastly maintained its commitment to the quality of its products and its people.

AMMSA has served as the model for Aboriginal communications societies and organizations not only in Canada, but throughout North America. A leader in communications, AMMSA has taken up the challenge and has provided training, support, and encouragement for other Aboriginal groups, communities, and societies wishing to establish their own communications facilities.

AMMSA Mission:

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an independent Aboriginal communications organization committed to facilitating the exchange of information reflecting Aboriginal culture to a growing and diverse audience.

AMMSA is dedicated to providing objective, mature and balanced coverage of news, information and entertainment relevant to Aboriginal issues and peoples while maintaining profound respect for the values, principles and traditions of Aboriginal people.


Organizational History

1983

AMMSA was formed in January 1983 to provide news and information for the Aboriginal people of northern Alberta.

A monthly publication was first published in March 1983.

That publication was simply called the AMMSA Publication. That was later changed to Windspeaker after a reader contest.

In the years that followed, Windspeaker expanded and developed its circulation base and readership to the point where in 1993, on its 10th anniversary, it refocused its editorial coverage and repositioned itself to become Canada's first and only provider of national Aboriginal news, information and opinion. It was a tremendous leap of faith and required a substancial shift in strategy and a major realignment of critical resources.

1990

With a 100 per cent cut in federal funding in 1990, nine of the 11 Aboriginal publications across Canada included in the now defunct Native Communications Program closed their doors. Windspeaker was the only publication west of Ontario to survive the federal cuts and was challenged to fill the void created by the demise of these other publications.

1993

"This was an excellent window of opportunity for us and Windspeaker took up the challenge. Our goal was to provide news, information and views from a national perspective in a way that would complement the work of other Aboriginal media, which typically served a much more local community," said Bert Crowfoot, publisher.

"Back in 1993 we put our faith in our staff to transform Windspeaker into a national forum that would be supported by readers through subscriptions and, in time, by advertisers. "

The formula has worked very well. After years of cost-cutting with the elimination of government funding, AMMSA and Windspeaker are undergoing expansion and growth.

"One of our organization's philosophies is to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. We saw the elimination of government funding, both provincial and federal, as a wake up call to pursue the dream of having an Aboriginal publication that was both financially and politically independent. We focused on developing a product that would attract a loyal readership," said Crowfoot.

Growth

Since Windspeaker's national launch, AMMSA has developed three additional publications to serve the needs of Aboriginal people throughout western Canada.

Alberta Sweetgrass was launched in December 1993 to serve the Aboriginal communities of Alberta.

This was followed by Saskatchewan Sage in October 1996; Raven's Eye, launched in May, 1997 to serve Aboriginal readers throughout British Columbia and Yukon and then Ontario Birchbark in January 2000 to serve Aboriginal readers in Ontario.

In 1987 AMMSA also launched CFWE-FM radio, Alberta's first and most extensive Aboriginal radio network. Originally CFWE was a community radio station based in Lac La Biche, Alberta. CFWE experienced tremendous growth in the 1990's and is now heard in all First Nations and Métis Settlements throughout Alberta.

Currently CFWE serves more than 75 Alberta  communities via satellite, an extensive and ambitious expansion plan has been developed to broadcast CFWE throughout Alberta including major centres such as Fort McMurray and Edmonton.

Digital media

Recognizing the internet as a tremedous communications tool lead to AMMSA launching www.ammsa.com and www.windspeaker.com in 1996. In the next few years AMMSA would work to digitize its collection of printed materials to make available through its websites.

All materials published in print by AMMSA are now also included as an online digital version. The online archives now contain more than 24000 original articles published by AMMSA since 1983.

The Future

As AMMSA prepares for its 30th year - our mission is to inform, impact and inspire everyone engaging with Canada's Aboriginal communities.

Not an organization to shy away from new technology, AMMSA continues to developed new services all with a focus of increasing communications options for Aboriginal people.

Alberta Sweetgrass - Alberta's Aboriginal Publication

Alberta Sweetgrass ~ Logo

AMMSA also publishes Alberta Sweetgrass, which serves the Aboriginal people and their communities throughout Alberta. Alberta Sweetgrass has been published monthly since 1993 and has grown to be Alberta's most widely circulated Aboriginal publication.

Current circulation is more than 9,000 per month; 5,000 cpies are delivered diret via Canada Post; 2,000 on newstands in Edmonton; 1900 on newstands in Calgary.

Alberta Sweetgrass's community focus and grassroots appeal has made it extremely popular with Alberta's Aboriginal readers.

BC Raven's Eye - BC and Yukon's Aboriginal Publication

Raven's Eye

Raven's Eye - BC and Yukon's Aboriginal Publication

In May, 1997 AMMSA launched a publication published specifically for the Aboriginal people of British Columbia and Yukon.

Raven's Eye is published monthly and is a regular section within Windspeaker.

Raven's Eye is about sharing the common Aboriginal experience  be our readers Metis, First Nations or non-status be they located on the BC coast in the BC interior or in the north. Where other publications have served only a selected portion of British Columbia, Raven's Eye will serve as a uniting force for all Aboriginal people to showcase their issues throughout the province.

CFWE-FM - The Native Perspective

Check out the CFWE web site!


A history of CFWE

 

In 1986, AMMSA established CFWE-FM, a radio station located in Edmonton for broadcast through a satellite network to 48 communities and settlements throughout northern Alberta (and across North America via satellite). One word that may be used to classify CFWE's programming may be "diversified". Programs broadcast on CFWE may be grouped under such general classifications as: Music, Arts, Ethnic Programs, Public Affairs and News. Within these areas the focus has been primarily to offer alternative radio to that offered by mainstream radio stations, broadcast services and publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On August 31, 1987 CFWE-FM made its initial broadcast as a community radio station in the town of Lac La Biche and broadcast for a total of 12 hours per day. This broadcast time eventually grew to 24 hours per day as of June of 1989.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially broadcasting The Native Perspective program from studios in Lac La Biche for 3 hours daily via the CBC TV network, CFWE has experienced significant growth in its inception over 14 years ago. In 1987, AMMSA seized the opportunity to establish a small satellite network consisting of low-power FM sites in 10 Aboriginal communities.

In 1991, 19 communities located primarily in the northern part of Alberta were added to our satellite network. An additional 18 communities were welcomed in 1992. Since that time, efforts have been made to establishFM sites in communities in Southern Alberta. The network now consists of 48 FM sites serving over 55 communities throughout the province of Alberta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June 1993, CFWE moved its studios and staff to AMMSA's administrative offices in Edmonton. AMMSA continued to develop plans to expand its signal distribution to include every First Nation, Métis Settlement and Aboriginal community throughout Alberta - a goal that was achieved in 1999.   

Plans were then developed to establsih large regional transmitters located strategically throughout the province. The plans were to provide a more consistent and wide-reaching regional radio service. Regional systems were established in Joussard (Slave Lake), Moose Hills (St. Paul), Fort McMurray and Edmonton.

In 2009 CFWE expanded its coverage to include Ft. McMurray (March) and Edmonton (July) as part of its commitment to a provice-wide radio network. As Aboriginal people increasingly move to urban centres to pursue opportunities, CFWE will be there to provide them with the radio service they have come to rely on.

In 2015 CFWE received approval to increase its broadcast power in the Edmonton region to 100,000 watts. This upgrade will be completed in May 2016.

In 2015 CFWE also made applications to the CRTC for expansion of its radio network to the Calgary region as well as for a second radio frequency for Edmonton. The second Edmonton frequency would be an Urban Indigenous format hypoerserving Edmonton listeners. A decisioon from the CRTC is expected in 2016.

 

Check CFWE's web site!


Partnerships

In 2005, CFWE-FM along with several other Aboriginal Communications Societies have established the Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB) which enable member stations to share ideas, resources and programming. Programs, information, music, and news are shared between members. The association is also being marketed as an effective means to communicate to more than 80% of the Aboriginal population west of Ontario.

www.waab.ca

Ontario Birchbark - Ontario's Aboriginal Publication

Ontario Birchbark

Ontario Birchbark - Ontario's Aboriginal Publication

In January 2002 AMMSA launched Ontario Birchbark, a publication to serve the Aboriginal people of Ontario.Ontario Birchbark is published monthly with a monthly circulation of more than 5,000 . Ontario Birchbark is about sharing the common Aboriginal experience be our readers Métis, First Nations or non-status and be they from the north, south, urban or rural. Where other publications have been exclusive, Ontario Birchbark will be inclusive and will serve as a uniting force for Aboriginal people throughout the province. Ontario Birchbark's community focus and grassroots appeal will make it extremely popular with Aboriginal readers.

Saskatchewan Sage - Saskatchewan's Aboriginal Publication

Saskatchewan Sage

In October, 1996 AMMSA launched Saskatchewan Sage, a publication designed specifically to serve the Aboriginal people of Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Sage is published monthly and already boasts of a monthly circulation of more than 8,100. Canada Post delivers more than 4,500 copies; 2,000 copies on Saskatoon newstands and 1,500 copies on Regina newstands.

Saskatchewan Sage is about sharing the common Aboriginal experience ­ be our readers Metis, First Nations or non-status. Where other publications have been exclusive, Saskatchewan Sage will serve as a uniting force for Aboriginal people of the province. Saskatchewan Sage's community focus and grassroots appeal will make it extremely popular with Aboriginal readers.

The enthusiasm which has greeted Saskatchewan Sage confirms our vision for an Aboriginal publication for the people of Saskatchewan.

Windspeaker - Canada's National Aboriginal News Source

 

Windspeaker

Inform, Impact and Inspire is what we do.
Independent and Indigenous is who we are.

Evolution of Windspeaker covers 1983-2015

 

Windspeaker, Canada's National Indigenous source for news, issues and culture is a magazine owned and operated by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA) which serves diverse readers throughout Canada.

Launched on March 18, 1983 - the "AMMSA Newspaper" as it was titled - was focused on serving the readers of northern Alberta exclusively. The publication was officially renamed Windspeaker in March 1986. Distribution was a modest 5,000 copies every two weeks.

Over the next 5 years Windspeaker continually expanded to serve readers in a growing service area that included all of Alberta and then western Canada. Finally, in 1993, on the publication's 10th anniversary, Windspeaker was positioned to become Canada's first truly national Aboriginal publication. The editorial focuse was expanded and a network of freelance writers and staff was established throughout Canada. Distribution was increased to 20,000 copies.

Now as Windspeaker celebrates its 32nd year of publishing, it is firm in its commitment to maintain a current, relevant, objective and independent viewpoint while reporting news, and providing information, current affairs and entertainment features with the utmost accuracy – and always from the Indigenous perspective.

Windspeaker, since its inception, has strived to achieve and maintain the highest journalistic standards and ethics. This determination has been rewarded with recognition and numerous awards for journalistic quality and achievement. Windspeaker regularly receives acclaim from its peers in the Indigenous media as well as having received an award for best investigative reporting from the Canadian Journalists Association.

Windspeaker magazine is published 12 times each year. Present national circulation has reached more than 20,000 with a readership in excess of 150,000