Alaska Natives battle Donald Trump on potential name change at highest mountain

A view of Denali, formerly known as Mt. McKinley. Photo by U.S. Department of the Interior

An Alaska Native leader is urging Republican president-elect Donald Trump to keep his hands off the highest mountain peak in North America.

During his historic visit to Alaska in 2015, President Barack Obama recognized the original name of Denali, which means "the high one" or "the great one" in the Koyukon Athabascan language. But Trump has vowed to "change [it] back" to its non-Native designation.

“We wanted that change for a long time, and now we finally have it, and we need to leave it alone,” Tanana Chiefs Conference President Victor Joseph told the Associated Press. He added: “It was an insult to the first people of this land when they took away the name and gave it to somebody else."

According to the AP, it would only take an executive order for Trump to change the name back to Mount McKinley. The peak was named in 1917 for the late president William McKinley, who was from Ohio and never set foot in Alaska.

Read More on the Story:
Alaskans vow pushback if Trump targets mountain’s new name (AP 11/20)

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