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A confidential government report says the spat between Ontario and the federal government over who should pay to settle an aboriginal land claim is preventing the resolution of the Caledonia crisis.

The report was written by the federal government's "fact finder," sent to Caledonia in March.

"Each takes the position that it is confident that if the Crown is liable for wrongdoing in relation to Six Nations' land claims, it is the other government that is legally responsible," Michael Coyle, an assistant professor of law at the University of Western Ontario, writes in his report for the federal government.

"It is difficult to see how the Crown will be able to reach a settlement of Six Nations' land claims unless Canada and Ontario can agree on a reasonable sharing between them," he says, adding the two governments can figure out "the issue of liability immediately."

Mr. Coyle, appointed by the federal government on March 24, handed in his report on April 7.

He was sent in to figure out the nature of the complaints, decipher jurisdiction and look for a possible mediation process. Mr. Coyle was clearly surprised by the tension.

"In 16 years of mediating land claims [including at Ipperwash] the writer has never witnessed such a high level of sensitivity."

The paper delves into the history of the land and also suggests moves Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Jim Prentice can make.

The report urges the minister to make sure a federal response doesn't "exacerbate divisions within the Six Nations community."

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