Windspeaker, Canada’s National Aboriginal Source for news, issues and culture is a magazine owned and operated by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA) based in Edmonton, Alberta. 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 1984. 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. In 1993, on the publication’s 10th anniversary, Windspeaker was positioned to become Canada’s first truly national Aboriginal publication. The editorial focus 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 29th year of publishing, reports their continued 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 Aboriginal perspective.”
Windspeaker has been rewarded with recognition and numerous awards for journalistic quality and achievement. Windspeaker regularly receives acclaim from its peers in the Aboriginal media as well as having received an award for best investigative reporting from the Canadian Journalists Association.
Windspeaker is published 12 times each year. Present national circulation has reached more than 24,000 with a readership in excess of 140,000.
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.
About the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA)
The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an Aboriginal communications society located in Edmonton, Alberta 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.