SINCE 1986, THE US GOVERNMENT has officially called North America’s tallest mountain — Mount McKinley — after a president who never even set foot upon Alaskan soil. For decades a quiet fight between Alaska’s governors, federal representatives, and those of Ohio has been taking place in Washington, DC.
Nearly every year Alaska would file a bill to change the mountain back to it ancient native Alaskan name, Denali, and every year Ohio would block the legislation in order to keep the Ohio-born President William McKinley ensconced in mountainous fame.
Even with the forming of Denali National Park in 1980, the moniker remained. The feds still not budging, Alaska changed the name on its own. From then on, on Alaskan maps the mountain was named Denali, everywhere else — it was McKinley.
On Sunday August 30, 2015 Interior Secretary Sally Jewell signed a secretarial order, bypassing congress entirely, to officially change the name of North America’s tallest mountain.
After more than 100 years of denying ancient Koyukon culture, Denali is back.