Wik Munkun is the first language of most Aurukun children, while English is the other dominant language of the area. Some people are fluent in four or five local languages.

TodayÌ¢‰â‰ã¢s township is on the site of the original Aurukun Mission, established in 1904 by the Presbyterian Church of Australia (later the Uniting Church of Australia). Aboriginal people were relocated from a large surrounding area to the mission settlement, many against their will.

During the late 1970s there was much argument and disagreement between the Queensland and Australian Governments over which government had jurisdiction for both the Aurukun and Mornington Island reserves. Eventually, agreement was reached for the creation of local authorities for the former reserves, and the leasing of land to the newly created councils for 50 years. On 22 May 1978 the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act, constituted the Aurukun Shire Council and granted to it Aboriginal Land Lease No.1.