Native protesters returned to an Ajax Mine open house on Wednesday night and performed a song for the crowd, the ceremony offering a stark contrast to the night before when those with protest signs were barred by security guards.
A group of about 25, mostly women and children, stood in a large circle in the middle of the Kamloops Convention Centre ballroom for about 10 minutes shortly after the open house started.
"We come here tonight not with any ill intent," said Lenora Starr, a Tk'emlups band member.
They came to gather information about the proposed strip mine and to share their perspective, she said while clearly indicating their staunch opposition to the project.
"Step into the spirit of the children and the grandchildren to come," Starr said. "When we're singing these songs, we're praying tonight."
Neskonlith band member Janice Billy also returned.
"We've lived here for thousands of years, since time began," she told the crowd. "This is our responsibility more so, I guess, than yours because that's an inherited responsibility from the creator."
"This is truly from our hearts to a future generation," said Miranda Tsi7eele, a mother of five. "My son is here. Where is yours? These are the people who are going to be left with the decision."
They sang the AIM song, which originated with early members of the American Indian Movement in the 1970s. Starr said the protest was specific to the project and not tied to the Idle No More movement.
The ceremony was not unusual for a company function, said Norm Thompson, community relations manager for KGHM-Ajax.
"They asked us if they could come and drum," Thompson said. "We talked about it. We wanted to be sure everyone was OK with it."