In an effort to save the species from extinction, 34 musk-ox from Greenland were transferred to the island in 1934. Today, the musk-ox herd numbers around 500, and calves from this herd have been relocated and introduced to other areas of Alaska.
A post office was opened in 1940. The ’50s and 60s brought considerable change; an airstrip was built in 1957, and the Territorial Guard was formed. Men went to Fort Richardson near Anchorage for training. By this time, Mekoryuk was the only permanent community on the island. During this time, many families moved to Bethel to be near the high school, returning during late Spring for fishing and sea mammal hunting.
The City was incorporated in 1969. A high school was constructed in 1978. The village maintains reindeer and musk-ox herds, and almost all families engage in subsistence activities, and most have fish camps. Salmon, reindeer, seal meat, and oil is important staples.