Mildred Nyunkiya Lyons was one of seven children and during her childhood her family travelled throughout the Ngaanyatjara and Anangu Pitjantjatjarra, Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands visiting relatives and maintaining cultural obligations. Her mother, Edith Lyons, a highly regarded painter, taught Mildred Ngaanyatjarra heritage, law and culture. She attended school in Warburton and Mantamaru before moving to school in Papulankutja. When Mildred was young she loved to go walking with the other girls in the bush looking for honey ants and yellow berries. Mildred began painting after spending time in the Papulankutja arts centre as an art worker, helping to take photos of paintings. Mildred paints with her sisters Joy, Paula and Angela and often at least three Lyons sisters are painting at the art centre together.