Mount McKinley Will Be Renamed Denali

Its original Alaska Native name

“For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one.’” (Nic McPhee / Flickr)

On Sunday, President Obama announced that he will officially change the name of Mount McKinley to Denali, according to the New York Times. Denali, the original Alaska Native name for the mountain that means "the high one" or "the great one," was renamed Mount McKinley in the late 19th century in honor of President William McKinley. The change has been the source of controversy for decades, and efforts to change the name back to Denali began in 1975. 

In 1980, the surrounding national park was named Denali National Park and Preserve, but the mountain itself remained Mount McKinley. 

Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republican Senators from Alaska, introduced legislation earlier this year to rename the mountain Denali

“For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one,’” Murkowaki said in a video released on Sunday. “I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”

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