In yet another act of Presidential ‘legacy building’, Barack Obama announced over the weekend he’s decided to change the name of the tallest peak in North America from Mount McKinley to Denali.
The news comes on the eve of a historic presidential visit to Alaska. Denali is the term for the mountain used by Native Americans in Alaska.
The Athabascan word Denali means “the high one.” Alaskans have informally called the 20,320 foot mountain Denali for years and the name Mount McKinley has long been a sore spot for residents of the state.
The mountain is currently named after former President William McKinley. While there have been several campaigns by Alaskan politicians to officially name it Denali, efforts by politicians from McKinley’s home state of Ohio have thus far thwarted the name change.
Obama, in what is becoming increasingly common for Presidents, is unilaterally seeing to the name change, citing the Interior Department’s authority over the matter.
Obama begins his three-day visit to Alaska on Monday with the stated aim of focusing attention on climate change.Stay Connected