“A highly effective Indian educator, sharing a Native American experience.”
Betty “Red Ant” LaFontaine is a full blooded Diné (Navajo) born of the Red Clay Bottom Clan, for the Salt Clan. Raised on the Navajo Reservation, she lived most of her youth in New Mexico in the traditional ways of the Diné. Betty is the middle child of eleven children, most of whom continue to live on the Reservation. Her father is Charlie (Man in the White Meadow) White, and her mother is Helen Yazzie White. Her ties to her family and homeland remain strong. In her hometown of Crownpoint, New Mexico, she has always been very sensitive to the Great Spirit and His love for the Land and His people.
Betty began her formal education. While attending school she was taught English as a second language. She was not permitted to speak her native tongue during the school day. Betty’s mother Helen chose to have Betty attend a Christian school, giving her access to a better education and an introduction to the modern world. During her seven years in this school program, Betty met her husband of 38 years, Mike LaFontaine originally from Florida, and is of Chippewa heritage. Mike’s parents are Melvin J. and Dellene M. Peterson LaFontaine. They currently live in Orange Park, Florida where they have been for 25 years, spending time with their beautiful 5 children and 18 grandchildren.
As a modern urban Indian, Betty’s passion is to educate others about the realities of reservation life, and the history and culture of her people. Betty loves helping others become outstanding members of their communities, and especially loves strengthening her brothers and sisters in learning the ways of the Great Spirit. As an Indian educator, Betty makes presentations about her native culture, lifeways, and heritage to school assemblies, clubs, groups, organizations, and business employees.
Betty serves others weekly in Christian service and how her Native Culture parallels those teachings of the Great Spirit as Jesus Christ. She has done her family research and believes she is from the tribe of Manasseh through the great Joseph of Egypt. She believes there are many similarities between the Native American’s of the Eastern United States and the ancient Jews of Israel. Her testimony of the Great Spirit has engendered in her an interest in recent archaeological and DNA evidences and the ties she has to her heritage and native culture. Her Native American brothers and sisters are a chosen, yet scattered people and her passion is to bring them home to the Great Spirit or Savior where they may lead in blessing the lives of others.