Warm and wise, Tanana is much beloved by her tribe, and she cares deeply for them all, acting as their shaman-woman, healer, and grandmotherly figure.
She understands that the Great Spirits work in ways known only to them and never questions the totems they choose for those who come of age in her tribe. As such, she expects the same of her tribe, stating "there is no trading" when it comes to totems, and impresses the meanings of the totems into those who come of age but that they must learn how to live by what their totems represent.
She has a sense of humor and a curious side (shown when she "examined" Kenai after he'd been turned into a bear as one of the multiple instances of violating his "personal space") and possesses great insight.
Role in the film
Tanana gives tribe members their totems when they are of age. As Kenai awakes as a bear after being swept along by a river, she tells him that he must travel to the "mountain where the lights touch the earth" to be changed back into a man by Sitka. After Kenai chooses to remain a bear and earns his title as a man through his love for Koda, Tanana leads the ceremony where he officially becomes a man.