I Heard the Owl Call My Name was written in 1967 by American author Margaret Craven.
Mark Brian, a young Anglican vicar, suffers from an unnamed terminal illness. His bishop assigns him to the First Nations parish in British Columbia. This parish exists within the village of Kingcome, which is home to a tribe of Kwakiutl Native Americans. While the bishop knows about the disease, he does not tell Brian, instead hoping Brian will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the meaning of life through this assignment.
The disparity between the Native American and white cultures becomes quickly apparent through a number of plot points. Brian learns that many Native Americans have left the tribe and failed to succeed as a result, so the Native Americans are naturally distrusting of Brian. Brian observes the values the Native Americans hold, specifically the importance of family and selflessness.
The tribe begins to trust Brian and eventually accept him as one of their own. In spite of the initial tribulations, Brian has now found a home and a family.
Just before the bishop calls Brian back, he hears the owl call his name, which is a harbinger for death in Kwakiutl culture. Shortly after, Brian dies in a landslide.