The chief commissioner of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is already feeling squeezed for time. 

The inquiry began its first public hearings on Tuesday, in Whitehorse. About 40 families have registered to speak in Yukon over three days of hearings, twice as many as anticipated.

"I think it's pretty clear we're going to need more time to get our work done," said chief commissioner Marion Buller on Wednesday morning.

The inquiry has made a point not to interrupt or rush people who are giving testimony. Buller says it's about offering "time and space" to help people feel welcome.

Buller pledged the inquiry would "definitely" return to Yukon for more family hearings, perhaps outside Whitehorse.  

Chief Comissioner Marion Buller

'I think it's pretty clear we're going to need more time to get our work done,' said Chief Commissioner Marion Buller on Wednesday. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

She did not say when though, nor did she say whether the $53-million federal inquiry would request more funding. 

"We're not that far in our analysis yet, but we'll certainly be careful. Because we know it's publicly funded, taxpayers' money," she said.

Buller said the next step is for the inquiry's commissioners and executive directors to discuss "how much time they need to do the job the way it should be done, and what they would be sacrificing by not doing it."

Public testimony runs until Thursday. Follow CBC's live blog for more coverage.