AMMSA History

Windspeaker—which celebrated four decades of publishing in March 2023—is owned and operated by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta.

Each year, publishes hundreds of news articles focused on Indigenous peoples, their issues and concerns, and the work they are undertaking to build a better future for themselves, their children and the children as yet unborn.

Through our reporting, Windspeaker seeks out knowledgeable sources and experts on a wide variety of important topics critical to understanding Indigenous Nation building and rebuilding within the country called Canada.

We seek to provide the greater lessons to be learned on these topics from the Indigenous perspective and worldview, and we strive to widen readers’ awareness, even if it’s incrementally, with each article published.

Bert Crowfoot

Publisher Bert Crowfoot

It has been an awesome 40 years since the first edition of Windspeaker (then called AMMSA) rolled off the presses on March 18, 1983. We have evolved from hard copy print, then to include digital, and now are finally a completely online news service.

We hope you continue to follow us for many years to come.

Warmest Wishes,

Bert Crowfoot, Publisher and CEO, AMMSA

OUR HISTORY is owned and operated by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta, an  Indigenous communications society dedicated to serving the news and information needs of Indigenous 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 Indigenous communications societies and organizations. It has provided training, support, and encouragement to other Indigenous 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 Indigenous culture to a growing and diverse audience.

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


Windspeaker 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. AMMSA grew the paper's readership to the point where in 1993, on Windspeaker's 10th anniversary, it refocused the editorial coverage and re-positioned the paper to become Canada's first and only provider of national Indigenous 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.


With a 100 per cent cut in federal funding for Indigenous newspapers 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.


"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 worked very well. After years of cost-cutting with the elimination of government funding, AMMSA and Windspeaker 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.


AMMSA debuts its first website property: (This is now our archives website, which was redeveloped and relaunched in 2017.)


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

See our Windspeaker back issues here on this site:

AMMSA also owns and operates CFWE-FM radio, Alberta's first and most extensive Aboriginal broadcaster. In 2009, CFWE radio launched in urban centres: Edmonton and Fort McMurray.

2016 fully embraces an online only news delivery service.


CJWE 88.1 Calgary radio was launched.


Local Journalism Initiative Reporters are supported by a financial contribution made by the Government of Canada.

canada mark


Radio continues to expand with The Raven, a Blues and Rock station, CZIN, an all-Indigenous digital music station, and Red Beat, devoted to Hip Hop. Find links to these stations here:

2023 launches the weekly Windspeaker Newsletter:  Subscribe Today!