Gig workers are defined as those who enter into short-term contracts with organizations or firms and/or individuals who complete specific and often, one-off tasks.
The gig economy is a reality for many Métis women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Métis, many of whom work in the creative arts industry on a gig basis, to produce beadwork, painting, printmaking, graphic design, sewing, and other artistic and cultural products.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an influx of Métis gig workers in food delivery services to secure income streams to sustain family expenses. This additional income was secured to provide for themselves and/or their dependants who had lost their main source of income.
The creative arts industry relies on and revolves around craft and farmers’ markets, seasons and holidays. During the pandemic, without these time-limited opportunities to generate income, many Métis women felt increased stress, anxiety and fear because of the shift to online sales and markets.
Challenges posed by poor Internet connectivity and the need for advanced computer literacy can make online applications difficult to navigate, which reduces income for many Métis women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Métis who are gig workers. For other Métis who are able to access these remote-based opportunities, this has nonetheless led to increased isolation stemming from working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.