(PCM) In a historic move that is being bet with some criticism, the Obama Administration has revealed that they will be officially changing the name of North America’s tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali. The news of the name change has been revealed on the eve of President Obama’s historic visit to Alaska and it is a major symbolic gesture towards Alaska natives who have informally been calling the mountain Denali, which is an Athabascan word meaning “high one”, for years.
Some people, especially coming from the state of Ohio, are criticizing the name change as the Obama Administration is entering into a decades-old conflict between residents in both Alaska and Ohio. People from Ohio are proud that the federal government recognized our 25th President William McKinley and named the peak after him, as he was from Ohio and assassinated in his second term as President.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says “With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska”. There has been no official word yet as to whether or not the people of Ohio will formally file a petition to block the name change, however people in Alaska are honored as they have been trying to have the name change recognized since 1975.
At 20,320 feet, Mt. McKinley stands as the continent’s tallest, and is still growing at a rate of about one millimeter per year. Known for its majestic views, the mountain is dotted with glaciers and covered at the top with snow year-round, with powerful winds that make it difficult for the adventurous few who seek to climb it.