Since childhood, Kanaan had realized he was among the few members of his people who possessed Wraith mental abilities. Teyla shared them, allowing them to quickly bond and become close friends. In terms of personality, Kanaan is described as a natural leader of their people, though he had no idea until he grew older. Kanaan maintained his relationship with Teyla, even after their relocation to New Athos. He had a wife and child he lost in a Wraith culling when his son was eight years old and after meeting Teyla again at a festival shortly after Kate Heightmeyer's death, the two started a relationship due to their shared grief for those they lost. (SGA: "Missing", "Legacy: Homecoming")
Kanaan and the rest of the Athosian population were taken by Michael Kenmore. Teyla was unaware of this fact for some time, though was concerned for their well being, especially when she learned one of their nights together left her pregnant with their child. (SGA: "Missing")
Kanaan was one of the first among the Athosian captives taken by Michael and his mercenaries and subjected to a process that transformed them into Human-Wraith Hybrids. Michael, in his plot to take Teyla's baby for his plans for domination over the Pegasus Galaxy, used Kanaan's link to her mind to lure her into a trap. While on board Michael's cruiser, Teyla desperately tried to reach some part of Kanaan's original personality, so he could help her escape, though Kanaan was completely loyal to Michael and merely stated that their baby would suit their cause. (SGA: "The Kindred, Part 1", "The Kindred, Part 2")
With time, Teyla's efforts succeeded, and Kanaan's human side resurfaced (despite his altered physiology). Despite this, Kanaan could not act to free Teyla without Michael turning on him and killing them both. Kanaan served on the bridge of Michael's cruiser, during their battle with the Daedalus, and left to investigate the disabling of the ship's hyperdrive. As he went to the engine room, he ran into Teyla, carrying their new-born son, Sheppard, McKay and Ronon. Kanaan, enraptured by their new-born child, was convinced to help them escape now that they had the chance, and as such lead them to a Wraith Dart which they used to escape through the Stargate while the Daedalus destroyed Michael's cruiser. (SGA: "Search and Rescue")
Upon their return to Atlantis, Kanaan was repatriated with the rescued Athosian peoples in their colony on the mainland of Atlantis' new planet M35-117, and also began the process of regaining his humanity by being treated with a modified version of the Iratus bug retrovirus by Dr. Jennifer Keller. He was initially held on the mainland by Atlantis' new Expedition Commander; Richard Woolsey, until he believed he could trust him, but several weeks later, he was released and allowed to live in Atlantis, his humanity completely regained. Kanaan currently lives with Teyla, looking after their son together, and supported her decision to resume her duties on Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team. (SGA: "The Seed", "Broken Ties")
When Atlantis came to Earth, Kanaan was on New Athos with the rest of the Athosians and Teyla was worried about contacting him to let him know that she and Torren were still alive. After McKay told her that they couldn't dial New Athos without severely depleting the remaining power in the ZPMs, Teyla told him of her worrying about Kanaan because of him previously losing a child and that while they had a son together, the two were not actually in a relationship, comparing her relationship with Kanaan to the idea of she and McKay spending time together if Jennifer Keller died.
Upon returning to the Pegasus Galaxy, Teyla had McKay dial New Athos and contacted Halling by radio. Halling sent for Kanaan, but Teyla purposefully avoided talking to him, instead asking Halling to tell Kanaan that Torren is well and that she will come when she can. Teyla then had McKay quickly shut down the Stargate before Kanaan could reach the radio and explained that she didn't want to explain to her people that she wasn't planning on coming back to New Athos permanently. Later, when Teyla came to New Athos with the team and Torren, Kanaan greeted them gladly and admitted to being worried that they had died. Noticeably, Kanaan addressed his son more than Teyla, telling Torren he'd missed him but not telling Teyla the same. Halling later tells Doctor Rodney McKay that Kanaan is a farmer and the Athosians' best beer brewer. Halling explains that Kanaan is not comfortable in Atlantis where he cannot pursue his craft and he and Teyla are ill-matched leading Halling to worry that his relationship with Teyla may break Kanaan before its over, a worry McKay also shares.
Days later, Kanaan is invited to Atlantis to see Torren, but finds that Teyla has gone to make a trade agreement with the Tricti. Instead, Kanaan is greeted by McKay who takes him to the lab where Doctors Radek Zelenka and Miko Kusanagi have Torren while they are re-calibrating Atlantis' sensors. Kanaan is confused by the method with which the two scientists are playing with his son and leaves with McKay and Torren to get coffee as he knows Torren is disturbing their work. However, Kanaan is saddened to note that he and Torren have been apart for so long that Torren sees him as nothing more than a friendly stranger, not recognizing Kanaan as his father. Kanaan realizes that Teyla has no intention to return to New Athos permanently and tells McKay he is not mad, understanding that Teyla has chosen to live her life in Atlantis. Kanaan asks McKay about someone Teyla had mentioned in Atlantis who she liked but didn't see her like that, implying it might be McKay who furiously denies it as he is with Doctor Jennifer Keller. Kanaan realizes McKay is telling the truth and goes over the friends Teyla has mentioned or introduced him to on Atlantis, but can't determine which one it could be. Kanaan tells McKay that he and Teyla made no lifelong oaths to each other and that if she wishes to be released from her relationship with him, she simply has to ask as he knows they are not compatible with each other. Kanaan tells a flustered McKay that amongst the Athosians, they don't believe that a child needs just two parents given the fact that many are orphaned long before they grow up and that he believes if it comes to it, McKay will make a wonderful second father for Torren. Seeing McKay understands his meaning, Kanaan closes the subject until such a time it might become necessary and goes with McKay to get some coffee, suggesting that he take Torren back to New Athos for a few days so he can get to know his son better if Teyla is not coming back.
After getting what a fake distress call from New Athos, Teyla and the team rush there to find everything alright. While the team are trying to figure out what happened, Kanaan approaches Teyla with Torren who had gone to New Athos for a few days. Kanaan tells Teyla that Torren is a year and a half old and he had spent six months believing them both to be dead. Teyla apologizes, telling Kanaan that she wishes she'd been able to inform him that they were still alive but stranded on Earth, but she had no way of contacting him. Kanaan questions Teyla about why she didn't simply leave Atlantis before it departed the Pegasus Galaxy and she admits she and Ronon were given the option but chose to stay instead though she'd believed they would only be gone a few weeks at most. Kanaan tells Teyla that he had mourned for Torren as he had his first son and can't keep doing this, believing they are dead when they really aren't. Kanaan asks about Teyla returning to New Athos permanently and realizes from her response she doesn't intend to. Kanaan asks Teyla to release him from her, telling her that she had taken comfort in him after Kate Heightmeyer's death while he mourned his own wife and son. Kanaan tells Teyla that while Torren was an unexpected gift to both of them, he is not enough to bind them both together for good due to the different worlds they live in and only asks that she allow him to see Torren from time to time and have his son stay with him occasionally so they can know each other. Kanaan also asks if she can honestly tell him that her heart is not given to another or truly free. When Teyla can't deny it, Kanaan tells her that he knew real love in the form of his dead wife Tre and can't settle for a pretense after that and asks Teyla to let them release each other in honesty and friendship. Teyla breaks down, believing that she has ruined everything like her mother Tagan, but Kanaan comforts her by telling Teyla that "nothing is ruined while life and hope lasts." Before they can discuss the matter more, three Wraith Darts come through New Athos' Stargate and Teyla, Kanaan and Torren detect them. Kanaan yells a warning to Halling while Teyla gives him Torren to take and flee as the Atlantis team tries to stop the apparent Culling. (SGA: "Legacy: Homecoming")
- Wraith Sensing: The ability common to all Wraithkin, Kanaan possesses the ability to sense the presence of the Wraith. During the Raid on New Athos, Kanaan was able to sense the Wraith coming at the same moment as Teyla and his son, both of whom are powerful Wraithkin, suggesting that Kanaan's ability to sense the Wraith is on the same level as Teyla's. (SGA: "Legacy: Homecoming")
- Wraith Technology Control: As a Human-Wraith Hybrid, Kanaan displayed the ability to use and control the systems of a Wraith cruiser, something that required a Wraith or someone with Wraith DNA to do. It is unknown if Kanaan lost this ability after becoming human again as Teyla possesses it as a Wraithkin, but has accessed many more Wraithkin abilities than the other Wraithkin. (SGA: "Search and Rescue")