Chelsea Bighorn was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona. She is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribe from Montana and has ties to the Shoshone Paiute in northern Nevada. After earning two associate degrees from Mesa Community College, Bighorn worked as an art instructor at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale on the Salt River Indian Reservation. It was here that she rediscovered a passion for education and her culture. In 2019 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to pursue a lifelong dream of studying painting at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Bighorn was a featured artist with the group InFlux Arizona, where she created a temporary public art piece.