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Murkowski Introduces Bill To Rename Mt. McKinley Denali

Senator Continues Push in New Congress to ‘Go Back to the Future’ for Peak

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced she has filed S.155 to officially restore the traditional name of the nation’s highest peak, Mount McKinley, to its traditional Interior Alaska Athabascan Name: Denali.

“I have nothing against President McKinley, whatsoever, but I would rather have this peak be called by the name it has gone by for centuries by Alaskans than a man who never set foot in our state,” said Murkowski.  "This is the tallest mountain in North America and we deserve to have this Alaskan landmark bear an Alaskan name.  My bill will go back to the future to give ‘The Great One’ its rightful name.

In June of 2012, Senator Murkowski spoke out on this issue during an Energy and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, saying:

“We don’t refer to it as Mt. McKinley we just call it “Denali.”  That’s what we’ve always called it.  Denali is an Alaska Native word, an Athabascan word, and it means “The High One.”  And as you think about this incredible mountain, you think that’s pretty appropriately named. All my bill does is make that name official.  I know the name Mount McKinley has some special significance to the folks in Ohio because of the President William McKinley.  My response to those folks is: You’re more than welcome to go right on referring to the mountain as Mount McKinley, just as Alaskans have long referred to the mountain as Denali.  All that’s changing is that the Alaskan name is becoming technically correct for an Alaskan landmark.”

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