White House announced that Mt. McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain, would now be called Denali. This is a major gesture symbol to Alaskans just ahead of the President’s visit to Alaska. Denali is an Athabascan word that means “the high one.” The Obama administration has waded into a long term conflict that has been between Ohio and Alaskan residents.
For a very long time Alaskans have called the mountain Denali but the federal government had recognized it as Mt. McKinley, named after the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley. Politicians from Ohio, especially in Congress, were angry at the changes made. Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs faulted the name change saying that McKinley deserved honor. He also termed the name change a “constitutional overreach” and that he would join his colleagues in blocking the move.
The announcement came just before Mr. Obama heads for a three day visit in Alaska to push his agenda on climate change to world leaders. Even though Alaskan Republicans consider melting glaciers to be a wonder President Obama sees it as a threat caused by warmer temperatures. Obama’s visit is also seen to show his solidarity with natives of Alaska who have faced many economic challenges. During his listening session with Alaskan natives a majority reiterated that they were neglected by the Federal Government.