But there were also external factors that stimulated the return of the attention for the public. One of these was the emergence of interest for indigenous cultures and other minority groups. They wanted to have a say in the study and interpretation of their past. In the US this led in November 1990 to a federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which stated that federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding have to return Native American cultural items and human remains to their respective peoples. It was of major importance as it juridically recognised that the archaeological heritage may have other values besides a scientific one and that there are other people besides archaeologists that have an interest in the archaeological heritage. As of that moment the values of these 'stakeholders' had to be considered.

NAGPRA gave indigenous communities in the US a strong voice in the protection of their cultural heritage.