Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is at the Kenora District Jail Thursday to take statements on how the Indian Residential School experience affected the lives of many inmates.
This is the first time the commission will visit a correctional institution. In the Kenora jail, 92 per cent of the inmates are Aboriginal.
That's why the Truth and Reconciliation Commission chose the facility for its first visit, said Ry Moran, the director of statement gathering for the commission.
"We thought that number was especially high,” he said.
“In further conversations we decided that this would be a good area to focus on because that particular area around (Kenora) ... has been so affected by the residential school legacy.”
Kenora defence lawyer Sharon Scharfe said the legacy of residential schools has affected the majority of her clients in some way.
"We have so many people who are hurting and, in effect, self medicating, through drugs, through alcohol,” Scharfe said.
“[This is] leading ... to getting criminal charges that are leading them to being in the Kenora jail," she said.