Similar to other tribal groups in California, Yurok people overcame the destruction of their villages, and assimilation attempts by non-Indians.
Many Yurok people went to extreme measures to hold on to their traditional ways. When government policy forbade the use of traditional languages and outlawed the practice of traditional ceremonies, Yurok people continued. Some dances stopped while others were revitalized.
Most importantly, the knowledge and beliefs continued and eventually reappeared and have remained constant. The late 1970s and 80s were a time when the revitalization effort soared in the local area. The Jump Dance returned to Pek-won in 1984, a War Dance demonstration was held in the late 1980s, and communities came together to support the revitalization of Brush Dances along the river and the coast. In the year 2000, the White Deerskin Dance was held again at the village of Weych-pues. For several generations there were times of darkness – no cultural traditions being passed on and the language slowly fading away.
With so few Yurok families able to hold onto traditional ways, it appeared as though the attempts to eliminate the cultural traditions would be successful. With the help of many elders (who have since passed on), a glimpse of light began to emerge. Young people who were eager to learn Yurok traditions did so and for the past twenty years Yurok traditional ceremonies have continued.