Laurel Baird was born in 1949 to Nellie Lena Anderson Olssen and Lawrence Olssen, and grew up in Seldovia, Alaska. Her father was a fisherman of Swedish heritage, arriving in Seldovia in 1912. Her mother was from Chignik, Alaska and was of Russian and Alutiiq/Sugpiaq heritage. In 1959, the family moved to Kodiak, Alaska for a few years as her father followed the fish. Laurel was gone from Seldovia from 1965 to 1980. Laurel is a member of the Seldovia Native Association. She remembers growing up in the small community and playing on the boardwalk and the local beaches, collecting subsistence foods, and the many people who helped make it a welcoming and friendly place.