What others say: Denali for Alaskans

  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015 7:08pm
  • Opinion

To Alaskans, the nation’s highest peak is Denali.

To Ohio and other points south, it’s Mount McKinley.

Who should decide between the two names? Well, Congress will, but it should be what Alaskans desire.

Denali, as we prefer to call it, is in Alaska. Alaska’s Athabascans named it Denali, which means “the Great One” or “the High One,” centuries ago. It’s been called Denali much longer than the several decades it’s been known by Mount McKinley.

The McKinley moniker came as a way to honor the 25th president of the United States, William McKinley of Ohio.

A remarkable man, McKinley, a Republican, served in the armed forces before he was elected to Congress and later as Ohio’s governor. As president, he is credited with leading the nation to rapid economic growth and victory in the Spanish-American War. He served one term before an assassin’s bullet ended his life.

But McKinley, while highly regarded, is not the Alaska people’s choice. The people who’ve lived in the mountain’s vicinity prefer Denali, a name that more aptly describes its grandeur at 20,320 feet.

While Congress, which has addressed the name choice previously, hasn’t been amenable to an official name change, precedent exists for it.

Denali National Park in the mountain’s neighborhood used to be called Mount McKinley National Park. When that change occurred, it should have included the mountain that is the premiere sight from within the park.

Ohio has erected monuments to McKinley; he is well remembered.

Alaska should be allowed to choose the names for its monuments, too.

— Ketchikan Daily News,

Feb. 10

More in Opinion

Anselm Staack (Courtesy Photo)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s fiscally irresponsible and deceptive plan

Constitutions are about broad policy objectives and legal boundaries — not about the day-to-day.

New direction for the Tongass will help grow businesses, a sustainable economy

Now is the time to chart a new course for Southeast’s future.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink promotes getting immunized with the flu shot this winter. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
Immunize when you winterize

An annual flu shot plus the COVID-19 vaccine protects Alaskans and our health care system, too.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s first act as governor was unconstitutional

That’s according to a ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John Sedwick.

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.

Jackson Blackwell (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: Carbon dividends are the bipartisan climate solution

By levying a gradually increasing price on carbon, U.S. emissions will be slashed by 50% in 15 years.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Dunleavy: Facts Matter

Political opportunists care more about spreading political untruths than accepting the facts.