June 13, 2014 - 7:17 PM
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. - The B.C. government has signed an agreement with First Nations groups pledging to end violence against aboriginal women and girls.
Premier Christy Clark signed a memorandum of understanding with groups including the First Nations Summit, the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and Metis Nation B.C.
The agreement, which was read aloud during a ceremony, does not include any specific policies or programs, but the province is pledging to work with First Nations groups to set goals and then create policies to reach them.
The memorandum acknowledges the causes of violence against aboriginal females are rooted in a history of colonial policies that attempted to destroy their culture and have traumatized generations of indigenous people.
Clark says the memorandum is a public acknowledgment that will ignite what she calls a spark that will push policymakers toward change.
The government has faced criticism that it is not doing enough to protect aboriginal women, particularly in light of the public inquiry into the Robert Pickton case, which resulted in an extensive report in December 2011.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014