Armida Mattia was born Armida Santiago in 1946 in Ak-Chin. She grew up in an O’odham speaking home, learning how to make O’odham baskets from her grandmother. Her very first basket was made with the coyote track design. She made baskets for many visiting dignitaries, including Senator Barry Goldwater, Governor and Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, Senator John McCain, and former President Jimmy Carter.
In 2004, one of her baskets was purchased by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. She continues to share her love of basket-making with young people and other members of the Ak-Chin Indian community.