From left, Janet George, Cedar, Xavier Jr. and Savon.
By LORI ANN EDMO
FORT HALL — The Sequints triplets — Xavier Jr., Cedar and Savon — are celebrating another milestone in their lives when they graduate from Blackfoot High School this year.
The first was being the first set of triplets born in the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. They are the sons of Xavier Sequints Sr. and Janet George.
The difficult thing is they won’t be able to walk in a graduation ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic but they’re making the most of it. Blackfoot High School will have a graduate parade June 4 at 7 p.m. where they are participating and a virtual ceremony where they’ll receive they’re diplomas. Their birthday is May 31 when they turn 19.
Each has their own plans after graduation.
Xavier plans to go into the U.S. Army. Savon wants to go to college and learn about law enforcement while Cedar also plans to go into the military service – his first option is the Marines, then the Navy and third the Army.
The three are close – Xavier said it will be hard for them to be apart as they laugh a lot. Cedar said they’re used to helping each other out and there for each other while Savon said they support each other.
Xavier served as vice president for the Indian Club and Cedar was sergeant at arms. Cedar said they assisted with organizing the Indian Club floats for the parades. Xavier said they also helped organize for Native American week. “I liked going to the schools – that was the fun part meeting and seeing everyone at the schools how they enjoyed the culture.” Xavier said it’s too bad this month, the Indian Club was supposed to have their powwow but they had to cancel because of the virus.
Savon said he liked football, “We made it to the championship and made second place. Didn’t get that much playing time but being there to support – those are my classmates they supported me and I supported them too.”
Xavier said he’s been busy doing his school work during the pandemic shutdown. He had some vocabulary from Merle Smith’s class. In addition, he and Savon did a project about fly fishing and social distancing – how it can take time away from being social with a lot of people.
Cedar said he’s enjoyed going steelhead fishing with his dad and family. “It was fun then I realized I needed to get started with work and I finished all of it within three days.” He said online classes are hard and he’d rather go back to school.
When asked who their mentors are Cedar said he looks up to his dad because he teaches him how to hunt and fish for survival. “I think it’s good I can still carry on that tradition.”
Xavier agreed with Cedar as he also looks up to his dad for keeping the tradition in the family. He also looks up to his mom Janet who mostly taught them manners, being clean and responsibility. “Yeah, the only mentors I have are my parents.”
Savon said he looks up to his Cagu Emaline George, “It’s always good to visit your cagu – she teaches a lot of stuff about when she was young and she has the language still. I learned a lot of things from her.”
When asked about their hobbies Xavier said he likes to play video games, watch movies and sleep in. Cedar says he watches videos on trucks – knowing how to fix them and what type of style. Savon is the cook and he enjoys cooking pork chops, grilled cheese, hamburgers and potatoes.
Cedar said he wants to be a diesel mechanic – learn how to fix trucks and drive big heavy equipment. Xavier wants to learn to do construction work and Savon said his interest is law enforcement because his dad used to be a Fort Hall police officer and he told him many stories about it.
When asked if they had anything else to comment on Cedar jokingly said, “I’m the only driver for these two (referring to his brothers). It’s hard to keep telling them to study their book even though they want to drive or take a cruise. Xavier said it’s good to have brothers, “They’re there for me.” Savon said it’s good to be a triplet because they’re always there for each other going through the good times and bad times, “We get help from each other.”
Throughout the time growing up people would get them mixed up. Cedar said people still can’t tell them apart and Savon said it also happened in football.
The boys mom Janet was overcome with emotion when she talked about them. The boys are amazing, “Watching them grow and to see them get to this point. I’m so proud of them no matter where they go they get attention. They’ve been good kids, still shy, never been naughty although they tend to fight but always go back and don’t hold grudges long.”
She said it was really important to teach them to be respectful, “Don’t ever judge people,” she tells them because you don’t know what they’re going through.” Janet encourages them to be caring, don’t criticize because you don’t want that happening to you. She added people tell her the boys are really nice and she encourages them to get up and do something, help people out. They take after their grandmother Emaline in gardening as they get out and do the family’s yard now mow and get rid of weeds.
Janet said the boys didn’t get to attend Head Start they went to Vaughn Hugie school instead to get help with speech therapy so didn’t have a graduation then. She said it’s nice they have all their little friends that are still with them and they have a group called the “GIB Boys.”
Their family will be busy the next couple of weeks as she’s learned to multi task in planning for their graduation and birthday. They sat down as family with their dad to discuss things. “Life is hard, it gets crazy but has told the boys don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. She’s thankful for her daughter Autumn and the help from other family members. “it’s really important for the boys to express themselves and every night they tell us love you mom and I love you dad.” They learned it from their sister Autumn as she advised it’s important to show that you care. The boys look up to their sister and they see how she has moved on to experience different places. They also keep an eye out on her children Marley and Tuff.
Xavier Sr. said he’s so happy for them and, “I’m glad I’m still here with them. I told them before my dad never made my graduation so I’m really grateful for that. He tries to teach them all kinds of stuff and the only thing they haven’t done is learn how to ride a horse. “I’m happy they made it and they’re going to move on in their little lives. They stay home and be nice kids instead of running around and being in trouble. I didn’t want that for them,” he continued. “A lot of people say at least you’re here for your kids.”
Their cagu Emaline said she’s really happy for them and recalled being their babysitter when they were in cradleboards. She said they shared a lot with her from when they were toddlers growing up. She sang to them, spoke the Shoshone language to them and expressed her love for them. She said Savon came first, then Junior then Cedar saying Savon is like the big brother – always been the person to tolerate them and correct them. She noted Savon is rule oriented a no nonsense guy. She advised the grandsons things will be different when they graduate and their choice of careers. “They’ve always been together and I don’t know how it will be for them,” she explained with emotion. She said the one thing in common they have is they love swimming. She added it took the whole family to be with them and they’re all looking forward to the day they graduate. The boys come and visit with her at least once a week when she tells them about their tribal history including the Shoshone and Paiute and the language as they are really proud of being Native. She talked about their older sister Autumn and how she likes to tease them.
Emaline said the boys have gone to dances with her and it’s really something they’ve learned from the time they were little, “They have a strong understanding of our traditional faith – they like it.” She bought them a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas so they take turns cooking.
She’s just putting the finishing touches on the last pair of beaded moccasins she made as they’re getting ready to take their senior photos in their beaded graduation caps.
Emaline has emphasized that is always important to know where they came from.