Mateo TreeTop

Mateo TreeTop is Hunkpapa Lakota and a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from Ft. Yates, North Dakota. He has lived in Mesa, Arizona for 21 years. Mateo honors his Lakota and Hidatsa ancestors as a Grass Dancer and his cultural teachings and practices have been the foundation of his accomplishments, which include graduating from Westwood High School in 2015 on the Principal’s Honor Roll with 10 years of Perfect Attendance, Standing Rock Scholars Award (2020), and Scottsdale Community College Visions & Voices Poetry Contest-First Place (Spring 2020 & Spring 2022). Mateo navigates daily life with a traumatic brain injury and is dedicated to assisting and supporting other Native youth who are transitioning into adulthood with a disability. He is employed by Diverse Ability Incorporated and serves as the Key Native Peer Navigator for multiple week-long sessions of the Arizona Youth Leadership Forum each summer. Mateo graduated from Scottsdale Community College in 2022 with an Associate of Applied Science-Visual Communication and an Associate in Fine Arts -Theatre. He is also employed by the University of Arizona-Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities as a Graphic Designer. Mateo was awarded the Marcus Harrison Jr. Leadership Award in 2017 and the Diverse Ability Incorporated Cross-Cultural Advocacy Award in 2022 for his disability leadership and advocacy work. He also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Mateo is a creative poet, actor, video gamer, and peaceful warrior who is thankful for the opportunity to tell the inspiring stories of our Indigenous ancestors and disability rights leaders as a member of the Community Archivist program at ASU.