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THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF DARTMOUTH COLLEGE ANNOUNCED THAT IT IS DIVESTING ITS HOLDINGS OF US$6.8 MILLION OF HYDRO-QUEBEC BONDS

 OTTAWA, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College, the prestigious Ivy League University in Hanover, New Hampshire, announced today that it is divesting its holdings of US$6.8 million of Hydro-Quebec bonds.
 The decision to end the College's investments in Hydro-Quebec follows an unprecedented campaign by the Dartmouth academic community, including staff, alumni and particularly students. It was felt that the ownership of Hydro-Quebec bonds was, in light of that corporation's James Bay Hydroelectric
project, inconsistent with Dartmouth's traditions, history, community standards and values''. In particular, the college examined the environmental and human rights implications of the James Bay Project, which it reports were


of deep and growing concern to a large segment of the Dartmouth community''.
 We believe that this decision is historic,'' responded Matthew Coon Come,
Grand Chief of the Crees. It indicates the beginning of a new, ethical approach to the rights of indigenous peoples and to the environment. This is in keeping with the proudest traditions of the universities, which like the Elders in Cree society, are the custodians of society's moral values. But practically speaking, this decision will, as we indicated to the College, assist Hydro-Quebec, Quebec and Canada in aspiring to higher standards in their dealings with the environment and with Canada's indigenous peoples.''
 All parties -- the Crees, the Inuit, Hydro-Quebec, Quebec and Canada -- were invited by the College to present their views. The Crees did so in person and in the form of a detailed submission to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees.
 Hydro-Quebec and Quebec also made high-level representations to the college. They attempted, however, to portray compensation payments to the Crees for social and environmental damage, including through mercury poisoning,
as Cree investments in Hydro-Quebec bonds''. The Crees informed the College that it was longstanding Cree policy not to invest voluntarily in Hydro-Quebec. With respect to the compensation funds, Hydro-Quebec had refused to meet its obligations to the Crees in cash form; the Crees thus had to accept payment through a unique series of Hydro-Quebec securities instead.
 As concern about the impacts of US investments abroad grows, a number of other U.S. universities are considering similar Hydro-Quebec divestment moves.
 We welcome this,'' said Bill Namagoose, executive director of the Grand
Council. 12,000 Crees cannot defend James Bay on their own. It is important at this late stage that all the residents of this continent assume their responsibility for the environment and the survival of its indigenous peoples.''
 -0- 12/18/92
 /CONTACT: Andy Orkin, 613-794-2771, Brian Craik, 613-724-1097 or B. Namagoose, 613-829-2587, all for the Grand Council of the Crees/


CO: Grand Council of the Crees; Dartmouth College; Hydro-Quebec ST: Quebec, New Hampshire IN: SU:

TM -- NY082 -- 8402 12/18/92 16:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 18, 1992
Words:458
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