Indigenous Names for Mount McKinley

Indigenous names for Mount McKinley
Indigenous names for Mount McKinley

For years, activists have attempted to officially change the name of North America’s highest mountain from Mount McKinley to Denali. The naming dispute is one of the most prominent cases of re-indigenizing toponymy in the United States. Indigenous names for the mountain can be found in at least seven different indigenous languages. The names fall into two categories. To the south of the Alaska Range in the Dena’ina and Ahtna languages the mountain is known by names which translate as ‘big mountain’. To the north of the Alaska Range in the Lower Tanana, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Holikachuk, and Deg Xinag languages the mountain is known by names which translate as ‘the high one’.

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