Elsie moved to Vancouver at the age of 15, after growing up in the village of Quatsino on Vancouver Island. In 1966, she met innovative Haida artist Pat McGuire and began studying silver engraving with him. During this time she also met Haida argillite carver Pat Dixon, who introduced her to formline design. Elsie always had an interest in Kwakwaka'wakw art, the art of her people, so her style was a fusion of bold Haida lines and Kwakwaka'wakw subject matter. She passed away before her time in 1977. In 1979, a series of prints were created based on her original ink drawings, and profits made from these prints were put into a trust for her children. In terms of pieces in the market, she is best known for her limited edition prints and silver jewellery.