Warning: This story contains details of residential schools that may be upsetting.

An Indigenous community in Canada’s Saskatchewan province has discovered 54 unmarked graves at two former residential schools in the area.

The announcement comes only weeks after an Indigenous community in Canada’s western province of British Columbia announced the finding of 93 potentially unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school.

These troubling discoveries have brought the tally to more than 1,300 graves having been discovered since May 2021.

Ted Quewezance, who is leading the Keeseekoose First Nation’s search for graves, held back tears as he disclosed the findings at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Canadians still cannot believe a human being could treat another human being, especially a child, like the way we were treated.”

Chief Lee Kitchemonia said an investigation was needed.

“(The children) could potentially have been, you know, murdered,” he said.

“We passed by them (daily), never realising there were graves there.”

Mr Kitchemonia said the community faced a tough time coming to grips with the finds.

The two schools were St Phillip’s (1905 to 1913) and Fort Pelly (1928 to 1969), and were run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the federal government.

Residential schools were set up to forcibly assimilate the country’s Indigenous people, with an estimate of 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children having been enrolled from the late 1800s to the 1990s.

The children faced horrible conditions with many reports of physical and sexual abuse by headmasters and teachers who stripped them of their culture and language.

A truth and reconciliation commission documented abuses at the schools and the deaths of more than 4,000 students mostly from malnutrition, disease and suicide.