The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, says she is considering whether to extend the mandate of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.

The inquiry has been travelling across Canada collecting stories from families who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Many of these stories have told a tale of tragedy and loss many Canadians find hard to comprehend.  After collecting all the information the commission will have the unenviable task of finding the complex causes and issues behind missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

The inquiry did have a rocky beginning with many families saying the entire process was flawed and should have been restarted, however, the process carried on.

The only public hearing in Saskatchewan was hosted in Saskatoon in November.  Requests for a stop in northern Saskatchewan did not pan out.

Minister Bennett says she recently a formal request from the inquiry’s commission to extend the mandate by two more years.

The following is a portion of the statement she released on Tuesday in regard to the request:

“Today we received a formal request from the Commission for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls for an extension to its mandate. In the coming weeks, I will be discussing this request with families, Indigenous partners, provincial and territorial counterparts and my Cabinet colleagues.

Our government is committed to ending the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The Independent Commission’s mandate is clear – families must be at the centre of their work. The families of these women and girls need answers to the systemic and institutional failures that lead to the murder of so many Indigenous women. We are committed to getting them the concrete recommendations they have been waiting for, and putting an end to this ongoing tragedy.

Shortly, we will respond to the recommendations of the Interim Report of the Commission and we will outline further actions.”

Well into the information gathering phase, reports say the inquiry is set to cost $54 million dollars.

(PHOTO: Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.  File Photo)