It started out from the first settlement established by the Destiny expedition when they were sent back in time by dialing the Stargate while in the middle of a star. It is the oldest of the two countries on Novus, as Dr. Adam Brody and a group split off from them to create Futura. Colonel Everett Young was the first leader of Tenara while it was still a small settlement, while Camile Wray would write the constitution. The Tenarans were responsible for The Testament, kino recordings that showed the Destiny expedition's early years on the planet. Unlike the Futurans, who believed Dr. Nicholas Rush was a savior, some Tenarans thought of Rush as a demon who ripped the souls out of people and dragged them to hell. The people of the Novus colony that the Destiny expedition met and later evacuated were Tenarans. (SGU: "Common Descent")
Like Young and Rush aboard the Destiny, Tenara and Futura had a strained relationship that had almost begun a cold war but was stopped when they discovered a black hole was coming straight for Novus. The two countries put aside their differences and worked together to build ships that could transport both Tenarans and Futurans to a settlement planet before the destruction of Novus.
The city that the Destiny expedition visited on Novus was part of Tenara, but it was soon destroyed by earthquakes and lava after they landed and were exploring a Tenaran bunker that held their archives. (SGU: "Epilogue")