ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott applauded Sunday’s announcement from the Department of Interior and the White House to officially change the name of Mount McKinley to Denali. This announcement comes after Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial Order officially changing the name of North America’s tallest mountain.
“For decades, Alaskans have been urging the federal government to recognize Denali by its proper name. I am pleased that the White House and the Department of Interior have taken the necessary steps to finally make this important change,” said Governor Walker. “Alaska’s place names should reflect and respect the rich cultural history of our state, and officially recognizing the name Denali does just that.”
Known for generations by Alaska’s Koyukon Athabaskan people as Denali, or “The Great One”, the 20,237-foot mountain was formally named Mount McKinley in 1917 after U.S. President William McKinley. For decades, Alaskans have fought passionately to recognize their mountain by its true name, Denali. Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Mallott said the Department of Interior’s decision to recognize the name Denali honored Alaska’s First People and their culture.
“Alaska’s Athabaskan people have lived in the Interior for thousands of years, and recognizing the name Denali brings great respect to their culture and history in our great state,” said Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott. “I thank President Obama and Secretary Jewell for taking up this issue, which Alaskans care so deeply about.”
Source : State of Alaska