June Shawanda Richard launches book ‘Silent Whispers’ at Wikwemikong Powwow

June Shawanda Richard signs copies of her book ‘Silent Whispers From Within’ at the book’s launch at the Wikwemikong Cultural Festival this past weekend. photo by Robin Burridge

WIKWEMIKONG—Surrounded by friends, family and community members, June Shawanda Richard launched her first book, ‘Silent Whispers From With In,’ at the 56th Annual Wikwemikong Cultural Festival this past weekend.

The 77-year-old shares her “epic life journey” in her book, including her years at Indian residential school ‘Number 84’ and her journey finding God, and in turn, herself.

“I have always wanted to write a book chronicling my life,” said Ms. Shawanda Richard. “I felt I had a story to tell. So finally at the age of 76 I started really thinking about it. One day I was just sitting on my bed and a voice came into my thoughts and told me that it was time to share my story—God speaks to you through your thoughts if you listen.”

That day Ms. Shawanda Richard sat down and started writing ‘Silent Whispers’ and was so dedicated to her writing that she finished the book in just five months.

“You don’t have to be famous to write a book,” she said. “I had a story to tell and I wanted to write this for my children and to hopefully help others. I hope someone reads this story and I am about to reach out and touch them, help them through my story.”

Ms. Shawanda Richard shared that she battled alcoholism earlier in her life, until one day, in the “depths of despair,” God spoke to her. The title of her book represents the voice of God that saved her.

“His voice told me that I needed to change my life,” said Ms. Shawanda Richard. “I had put myself above God—I was so ashamed. I dropped to my knees and was born again. It was a real awakening. I starting shaking as I hadn’t had a drink and was getting the DTs (delirium tremens, a sign of withdrawal) and I asked the Lord to take away my pain. He did and I felt completely at peace—filled with joy and I have never left him since.”

“Enjoy the many laugh-out-loud moments as June demonstrates her irrepressible sense of humour from her son’s liberation of baby skunks and her daughters rafting in a decorative Toronto fountain,” reads the media release for Silent Whispers. “These memoirs are a labour of love which June gratefully shares with her family and all former students of the residential school system across Canada.”

To order your copy of ‘Silent Whispers,’ contact facebook@silentwhispersfromwithin or darlenewells1963@gmail.com.