A paper bag used to collect the tears of those testifying, to then be burned in a sacred fire, is seen at the final day of hearings at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Richmond, B.C., on Sunday April 8, 2018. The federal government announced today that the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls will have an additional six months to complete its work. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Feds agree to six-month deadline extension for MMIW inquiry

The federal govermnent is giving the inquiry until to April 30, 2019, to complete its work

The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is getting an additional six months to complete its work.

The federal govermnent is giving the inquiry until to April 30, 2019, to complete its work and submit its final report, instead of the initial deadline of Nov. 1.

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The commission will have an additional two months, until June 30, 2019, to wind down its work.

Department officials said they will work with the inquiry to determine the budget. The Liberal government had initially earmarked $53.8 million and two years for the inquiry to complete its work.

In March, inquiry officials asked for a two-year extension in order to give commissioners until Dec. 31, 2020, to make recommendations and produce findings.

The inquiry’s interim report, released in November, called for an investigative body to re-open existing cold cases and for an expansion of an existing support program for those who testify.

RELATED: Inquiry into missing, murdered Indigenous women seeks two more years

The government says it will spend $9.6 million over five years to support the RCMP’s new National Investigative Standards and Practices Unit, and will fund a review of police policies and practices regarding their relations with Indigenous Peoples.

An additional $21.3 million will be provided to expand health support provided by the inquiry.

The Canadian Press

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