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