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Putting an end to violence

The BC 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 BC Assembly of First Nations, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Metis Nation BC.

The agreement 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 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 2012.

The Canadian Press

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